Portugal 3-2 Ghana: Player rating as Ronaldo makes World Cup history as Selecao leaves him late

Portugal 3-2 Ghana: Player rating as Ronaldo makes World Cup history as Selecao leaves him late

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five World Cupsbut Portugal needed a pair of late goals to salvage a nervous 3-2 win against Ghana on Thursday.

Just two days after his contract with Manchester United was terminated by mutual consent, the free agent ronaldo converted a penalty to subdue a stubborn Ghanaian side in their opening Group H game.

Ghana were furious with the penalty being awarded in the 65th minute for Mohammed Salisu’s tackle on Ronaldo, but struck back through Andre Ayew in the 73rd minute.

However, Joao Félix put Portugal back in front and substitute Rafael Leao added a third, which proved important when Osman Bukari scored one last consolation for Ghana, who missed a glorious chance to snatch a point through Iñaki Williams.

Ronaldo was denied by Lawrence Ati-Zigi after a strong first touch and headed wide in Portugal’s best limited chances in the first half, before having a goal disallowed for a foul.

Alidu Seidu was lucky to only be shown a yellow card early in the second half after facing Joao Félix, but Ghana were less lucky when Portugal were awarded a penalty.

Salisu was penalized for his challenge on Ronaldo, even though he appeared to touch the ball before the player did, and the superstar striker made no mistake from the penalty spot.

That ignited some life in Ghana and Ayew sent home an equalizer after Mohammed Kudus returned the ball his way, but Portugal’s own response was just as quick.

Joao Félix ran into Bruno Fernandes’ through ball and hit Ati-Zigi, before Leao, in the field just 45 seconds, scored a delightful third for Fernando Santos’ side.

Bukari, himself introduced from the bench, headed in a Baba Rahman cross to set up a tense finish and Williams nearly equalized when he wrested the ball from an unconscious Costa before slipping at the crucial moment.

Goalkeeper: Diogo Costa – 3/10 – He made fewer saves than goals conceded and almost gave Ghana an equalizer in the dying seconds through a lack of awareness.

RB: Joao Cancelo – 4/10 – He is not the same attacking full-back that Manchester City fans are used to seeing. The culprit behind Ghana’s second goal.

DFC: Rubén Dias – 5/10 – It wasn’t his best day, considering there were plenty of opportunities for Portugal to be in cruise control.

CB: Danilo Pereira – 5/10 – He has grown accustomed to playing centre-back at international level, but it should have been cleared up since Ghana scored their first goal.

LI: Rafael Guerrero – 5/10 – The most adventurous of the Portuguese full-backs in the first half. Defensively suspicious in the second.

CM: Bernardo Silva – 10/6 – He saw a lot of the ball without doing much with it to really test Ghana.

CM: Rubén Neves – 6/10 – He protected the back four and was always an option to keep the ball moving.

CM: Octavio – 5/10 – His last ball into the area was missing quite a few times. He ended up going off injured early in the first half.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Too calm in the first part but he improved remarkably after the break. Perfect two-inch assists.

ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (c) – 7/10 – Early missed opportunities that you normally could have buried. He had a goal disallowed for a foul, but he converted from the spot and generally led the line pretty well.

ST: Joao Felix – 7/10 – Radar seemed to be far behind in the first half like many of his teammates. Composite shot for his goal.

SUB: William Carvalho (56′ for Otavio) – 7/10

SUB: Rafael Leao (77 ‘for Neves) – 10/7

SUB: Joao Palhinha (88′ for Silva) – N/A

SUB: Joao Mario (88′ for Felix) – N/A

SUB: Goncalo Guedes (88′ for Ronaldo) – N/A

Manager: Fernando Santos – 7/10 – Things weren’t going so well in the first half, but the changes he made had a big impact.

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