Portugal 3-2 Ghana: 5 Talking Points as Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first player to score at 5 World Cups

Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 in an entertaining game in the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, November 24.

The Seleccao entered this contest on the back of three wins and two defeats in their last five games across competitions. With this set to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last World Cup, Fernando Santos’ men were fired up to perform well.

Ghana, on the other hand, arrived in Qatar on the back of the exact same record as their opponents over the course of five games. Having been drawn in the ‘Group of Death’, the Black Stars were looking to put their best foot forward.

Portugal made a strong start to the game and utterly dominated proceedings in the first period, playing Ghana off the pitch. They kept the ball for 70% of the time and did not allow their opponents to attempt a single shot. The Seleccao attempted seven shots with two on target in the first half.

However, neither team was able to stamp their authority on the game. Portugal went into the break looking to put in a better performance in front of the goal in the second half.

HT | 🇵🇹 Portugal 0–0 Ghana 🇬🇭Another half of football without goals at #Qatar2022 has gone by, as Portugal showed much more, but Cristiano Ronaldo missed two of their best chances so far.Ghana, on the other hand, are yet to attempt a single shot.#PORGHA #FIFAWorldCup https://t.co/9AVnTF5hln

Both Portugal and Ghana turned on the style in the second half as they seemed to have woken up from their slumber. The home team grabbed the lead via Ronaldo, who stepped up and converted a penalty with great precision. However, their lead lasted for a mere eight minutes. Andre Ayew scored the equalizer for Ghana after 73 minutes to breathe life into the game.

The equalizer stunned the Seleccao into action as they scored the go-ahead goal just minutes later. Bruno Fernandes played a pass towards Joao Felix, who finished with a lovely strike into the bottom-right corner. Fernandes assisted Rafael Leao just two minutes later as Portugal made it 3-1 after 80 minutes.

Osman Bukari pulled one goal back for Ghana in the 89th minute but it was too late to pull off a comeback. Portugal held on to kickstart their World Cup campaign with a 3-2 win. On that note, let’s take a look at the five talking points from the game.


#5. Portugal and Ghana made a nervy start to the game

Both sides seemed reluctant to take the initiative to be on the front foot and risk leaving spaces behind them in the first period. Despite Portugal having 70% possession in the first period, they were unable to create clear-cut goalscoring chances.

Ghana, on the other hand, were under tremendous pressure and were pinned back for most of the first period. They only had 30% possession and as a result, were unable to attempt a shot on goal.


#4. The first half was a reflection of the current trend in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Aside from the first matchday, several teams have adopted a cautious approach to kickstart this edition of the World Cup. There have already been three goalless draws, with the other game in Group H between South Korea and Uruguay being one of those.

The game looked very cagey as the teams were deadlocked at 0-0 at the break.


#3. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 7th goal at his 5th World Cup

Portugal were awarded a penalty for a rather soft decision early in the second half as Ronaldo was fouled. He stepped up and scored to ease the pressure on his side and give them a much-deserved lead after 65 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player ever to score in FIVE different men’s World Cups 🖐️ https://t.co/F5Z9J0Ur4r


#2. Rafael Leao was the game-changer

Leao did not start the game but came on as a substitute in the 77th minute, replacing Ruben Neves. He played just 13 minutes but attempted two shots, scoring from one while the other was blocked. His pace was very difficult for Ghana’s tired defenders to deal with, allowing Portugal to strike twice in quick succession on the counter-attack.


#1. The game burst into life in the second half

With the teams going into the half-time break at 0-0, not many would have expected the final scoreline to read 3-2 to the home team. But that is exactly what happened as the two teams scored five goals between them in a span of just 24 minutes.

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