Ghana endure contentious opening game defeat against Portugal  

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In the opening match of the Black Stars’ 2022 World Cup, Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 at Stadium 974 on Thursday night without the use of VAR.

Just after the hour mark, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a contentious penalty to put Portugal ahead before Andre Ayew tied the score for Ghana.

The European nation struck twice in as many minutes to take a 3-1 lead, and there was late drama. Osman Bukari, a substitute, scored a spectacular late goal to win the game 3-2.

Portugal now has three points after winning, while Ghana is at the bottom of Group H. After drawing without scoring earlier, Uruguay and South Korea now both have a point.

Against November 28, Portugal takes on Uruguay, while the Black Stars meet South Korea.

Cristiano Ronaldo got the first sight at goal but Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi was very proactive to run out of his line and put the ball to safety in 10 minutes.

The A Selecao restricted the Black Stars to their own half in the first 20 minutes, playing 76% of the ball while Ghana has only 24% of possession.

At the half hour mark, Ronaldo drilled the ball into Ghana’s net but he fouled Alexander Djiku in the process.

The Black Stars’ plan to catch Portugal on the counter wasn’t working as the midfield could not spot Inaki Williams, with the Euro 2016 champions getting 5 attempts, one on target against Ghana’s zero.

A half completed dominated by the two-time semifinalists ended in a goalless draw.

Ghana finally came out of their own half to play as Mohammed Kudus made a marvelous solo run to hit a great shot that missed the target narrowly 10 minutes into the second half.

Portugal was awarded a soft penalty that was not checked by the VAR after a least touch from Mohammed Salisu.

Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot as he converted brilliantly to break the deadlock in the 64th minute to make World Cup history. He became the first player to score in five consecutive tournaments.

Ghana pulled the equalizer through Andre Ayew who latched onto a Kudus cutback in the 73rd minute.

Portugal caught Ghana’s backline sleeping on the break as Joao Felix picked a Baba Rahman missed ball to convert from the right side of the box in the 78th minute.

The same situation repeated itself two minutes later. This time on the right side, with substitute Raphael Leao converting from the left post.

With a minute to the end of the 90, Osman Bukari cut Portugal’s lead to one after heading in a Baba Rahman cross from the left.

Portugal held on to for the victory to ward off Ghana’s late pressure for an equalizer.



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