Ghana Edged in five-goal thriller by Bruno Fernandes inspired Portugal, Ronaldo makes history


It was indeed a story of two halves as Ghana locked horns with Portugal and battled but lost 3-2 to Portugal at Stadium 974 in Doha.

The first half was passive as both Ghana and Portugal were cautious, sizing up each other.

The former European Champions caged the Black Stars, kept possession, while the African team defended – and relatively well, restricting Cristiano Ronaldo and co to just 2 shots on target all through the first half.

It ended goalless in the first half and fans would not have foreseen what was about to happen after the resumption – a goal fest.

The game came alive in the 64th minute when the referee gave Portugal a penalty.

Ronaldo was foul, and though it looked soft, Referee Ismail Elfath bought it.

The Seleção captain stepped up to coolly and converted his kick, becoming the first player to score in 10 major tournament dating back to the 2004 EURO.

However, Ghana persisted and became the first African team to score at this World Cup edition, Andre Ayew the goalscorer.

But, after some tactical changes by Fernando Santos; Bruno Fernandez was moved into the no. 10 role, and he flourished laying off two minutes, first for João Felix (78′) and then for substitute Rafael Leao (80′) to stamp Portugal’s authority.

Ghana responded with a strike of their own to at least give them a fighting chance.

A fine header from Osman Bukari reduced the deficit, and the Crvena Zvezda forward also lifted the spirit of his teammates by celebrating with Ronaldo’s famous “Suiii”.

With nine minutes of stoppage time shown, Ghana pushed for an equaliser, but Portugal were able to hold them off.

The defeat means no African team has won their games in the first round of the tournament.


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