NEW DELHI: Cristiano Ronaldo wrote his name in the record books by becoming the first player to score in five World Cups after converting a penalty against Ghana in opening of Portugal Group H game at Stadium 974 on Thursday. Portugal survived a nervy nine minutes of stoppage time to edge past the African side 3-2 in a five-goal thriller.
Portugal completely dominated the first half but failed to break the deadlock and entered the half-time break 0-0 against Ghana. Ronaldo broke the deadlock with a conversion from the penalty spot in the 65th minute, his 118th international goal for Portugal. Ghana skipper Andre Ayew scored a 73rd-minute equalizer but two quick goals from Joao Felix (78th minute) and substitute Raphael Leao (80th minute) put Portugal back in the lead.

Just when everyone was looking in favor of Portugal, Osman Boukari scored a goal for Ghana a minute before regular time to put the pressure on the Europeans. Portugal then survived a nervous nine minutes of stoppage time to open their campaign with a win.
Most of the action was condensed into a short period after the 60th minute, with Portugal taking the lead when they were awarded a soft penalty after Ronaldo went down after minimal elbow-to-elbow contact with Mohammed Salisu.
Ronaldo closed his eyes waiting to start his run, stuttered and kicked the ball into the net to the keeper’s right.

Ghana responded quickly when Mohammed Kudus’ cross found its way to Ayew who tapped home.
Portugal then kicked into high gear with Felix latching onto a through ball from Bruno Fernandes and nonchalantly lifting his goal past the keeper.
Fernandes was also the architect of their third goal, playing another superb through ball for substitute Leao to slide his finish over the keeper and into the bottom corner.
There was tension at the end, however, as Ghana netted another goal with Osman Bukari heading from a cross from the left in the 89th minute.
Portugal, who now top the group with three points, will face Uruguay on Monday when Ghana take on South Korea.
(With agency contributions)



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