Ronaldo Makes World Cup History, Portugal Beats Ghana 3-2

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo closed his eyes, took in a deep breath after which made World Cup historical past.

The Portugal striker grew to become the primary male participant to attain at 5 World Cups along with his Sixty fifth-minute penalty in a 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday.

Days after his contract was terminated at Manchester United following a tell-all interview, he let his soccer do the speaking at first of doubtless his closing World Cup.

“This was a beautiful moment,” Ronaldo mentioned. “The world record, the only player to score in five World Cups, makes me very proud.”

Wheeling away after the ball struck the again of the online to present Portugal a 1-0 lead, a smiling Ronaldo carried out his regular leap and swivel within the air — the group roared his trademark “SI-UUU” as he did the pirouette — earlier than getting mobbed by teammates.

He has now scored in each World Cup since his first in 2006, when a penalty in opposition to Iran began his run of targets within the event that’s now as much as eight in 18 matches. He has a males’s file 118 worldwide targets.

“I think Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos mentioned. “In 50 years, we will continue to talk about him.”

His newest scoring file provides to the luster of a resume that ought to guarantee Ronaldo receives loads of affords from new golf equipment after splitting with United on Tuesday. That got here after he gave an unauthorized interview to Piers Morgan criticizing the supervisor, house owners and his teammates on the English membership.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, up, falls over Ghana’s goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi through the World Cup group H soccer match between Portugal and Ghana, on the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photograph/Darko Bandic)

His fraught buildup to the event didn’t seem to have an effect on Ronaldo in opposition to Ghana, regardless that he wasted two clear-cut possibilities within the first half.

“It was a week that finished this chapter (with United),” Ronaldo mentioned. “It is closed and now I want to start with the good foot forward. We started, we won, I want to help my team and all the rest does not matter.”

Ronaldo ended the match along with his head in his palms in pure aid after Ghana virtually snatched a draw within the ninth minute of stoppage time because of a chunk of ingenuity.

Within the final motion of the sport, Ghana striker Inaki Williams hid behind Diogo Costa because the Portugal goalkeeper rolled the ball on the bottom and ready to clear it. Williams dispossessed Costa and, regardless of slipping, managed to poke the ball towards objective.

Portugal defender Danilo raced again and cleared the ball away from close to the road as Ronaldo, who was sitting within the dugout after being substituted, watched in disbelief.

All of the targets got here in a wild closing half-hour, with Andre Ayew equalizing for Ghana eight minutes after Ronaldo transformed his penalty after tumbling underneath a problem by Mohammed Salisu.

Ghana coach Otto Addo referred to as the penalty “a special gift from the referee.”

Joao Felix regained the lead for Portugal within the 78th minute following a through-ball by Bruno Fernandes, who then arrange Rafael Leao so as to add a 3rd. Osman Bukari decreased Ghana’s deficit within the 89th, celebrating in comical style by performing Ronaldo’s “SI-UUU” twirl.

Not one of the 5 African groups on the World Cup gained their first match within the group stage. Ghana misplaced, like Senegal and Cameroon, whereas Tunisia and Morocco drew their video games. “They didn’t win but I saw they can compete with the opponent,” Addo mentioned. “I hope we can improve.”

Inaki Williams made his first aggressive begin for Ghana, a day after his brother, Nico, got here on as an alternative to Spain in a 7-0 win over Costa Rica. Inaki Williams switched allegiance this yr from Spain to Ghana, which is the nation the place his dad and mom had been born and left many years in the past whereas his mom was pregnant with him.