Cristiano Ronaldo made history on the World Cup’s fifth day in Qatar, being the first player to score in five World Cups and guiding Portugal to a 3-2 victory over Ghana.
The 37-year-old, eager to showcase his skills to possible new clubs after an acrimonious parting with Manchester United last week, scored a thunderous penalty in the 61st minute to put Fernando Santos’s team ahead in the Group H match at Stadium 974 in Doha.
The first goal scored by an African team in this year’s tournament, by Ghana captain Andre Ayew, in the 73rd minute, quickly erased Portugal’s lead.
The Black Stars’ boisterous supporters erupted in jubilation after seeing their club go the whole first half without attempting a single shot.
However, the celebrations were short-lived as Portugal turned up the heat, scoring twice in the next seven minutes through Joao Felix and Rafael Leao to bring the score to 3-1 at the 80-minute mark.
Osman Bukari of Ghana changed the score to 3-2 in the 89th minute, shattering any illusions Portugal had of winning quickly.
Portugal held on to win three points and moved to the group’s top after a tense nine minutes of extra time.
On Monday, Portugal will play their next game against Uruguay. On the same day, Ghana takes on South Korea.
Serbia vs. Brazil
Richarlison led the tournament favorites Brazil to a 2-0 victory against Serbia in their World Cup first match at the Lusail Stadium.
In the Group G match, the 25-year-old striker scored completed shortly after the hour mark. He quickly added a magnificent second goal in the 73rd minute.
Brazil’s players zipped the ball around and made repeated raids on their opponents’ box, underscoring their reputation as the most dangerous team in the competition. Serbia, who had offered fierce opposition for the first two-thirds of the game, was forced to chase shadows.
However, there were worries about Neymar, a great forward.
The 30-year-old had assisted the Selecao in its victories over the 2013 Confederations Cup and the first Olympic gold at the Rio de Janeiro Games 2016; however, he was compelled to quit the game against Serbia in the 80th minute after suffering an injury to his right ankle.
Neymar, a player for Paris Saint-Germain, has had issues with that foot in the past. For the game’s duration, he sat on the sideline with his face covered as he underwent treatment.
With their victory, Brazil now leads Group G, trailed by Switzerland.
On Monday, the South American powerhouses will take on Switzerland to win their sixth World Cup. On the same day, Serbia will play Cameroon.
South Korea versus Uruguay
At Education City Stadium in Doha, Uruguay and South Korea began their World Cup campaigns with a frantic match ending in a scoreless tie.
Despite the absence of goals, the stadium was electrified as South Korean supporters beat on drums the entire time.
La Celeste, or Uruguay, came the closest to scoring when Diego Godin’s first-half header struck the post. In the 89th minute, Federico Valverde attempted a long shot that hit the bar once more.
When Hwang Ui-jo found himself unguarded in the 37th minute, South Korea also had many opportunities, and they were disappointed that he could not take advantage of them.
Cameroon versus Switzerland
In their Group G match at the Al Janoub stadium, Switzerland narrowly defeated a spirited Cameroon team to maintain their perfect record through their first two World Cup games.
Forward Breel Embolo scored the winning goal for Switzerland in the first half.
The 25-year-old was born in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, but relocated to Switzerland with his family when he was just 18 years old. He later acquired Swiss citizenship.
Embolo apologized after scoring by raising his hands, and his teammates clapped for him. The Swiss supporters were behind the goal where he had achieved, and he then pointed to the Cameroonian supporters in the opposite corner of the stadium.
In the first half, Cameroon was the superior team; in the second, Switzerland came together.
Switzerland will play Brazil on Monday after their 1-0 victory, while Cameroon will play Serbia.