Doha: Cristiano Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five World Cups with a goal for Portugal against Ghana on Friday morning (AEDT).
The 37-year-old striker converted a penalty in the 65th minute to give Portugal a 1-0 lead. His side went on to win the Group H clash 3-2, surviving a late Ghana surge that almost resulted in an equaliser at the death.
Cristiano Ronaldo makes World Cup history.Credit:Getty Images
The first-half of the Group H clash was forgettable apart from a couple of Ronaldo chances, but it burst into life after the interval as Portugal belatedly began their campaign.
Ronaldo, a free agent after his second stint at Old Trafford ended abruptly on Tuesday, thumped home the penalty after an innocuous coming together with Mohammed Salisu saw the referee point to the spot.
Ghana did nothing in the first half apart from defend deeply, but gave their noisy bank of fans in the 974 Stadium something to cheer when Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute.
Joao Felix restored Portugal’s lead five minutes later, however, and Bruno Fernandes then showed his class with a jinking run before sliding a pass to Rafael Leao to leave Ghana stunned.
Osman Bukari’s 89th-minute headed reply set up an anxious ending for Portugal, but they survived nine minutes of stoppage time to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time in their last four appearances.
Ronaldo has now scored in every World Cup since his first in 2006, when he converted a penalty against Iran in the group stage.
He scored one goal at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, another at the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and four in Russia in 2018.
Ronaldo extended his men’s record tally of international goals to 118.
Brazil forward Marta has scored in five Women’s World Cups.
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