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Portugal 3-2 Ghana: Player Ratings as Ronaldo goal sparks late drama

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Portugal clinched a hard-fought win in their opening game of the tournament.

Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 in their World Cup game on Thursday. The Black stars put up an impressive fight against Cristiano Ronaldo and co at Stadium 974.

All eyes on Ronaldo!

Ronaldo came into the game on the back of his highly-controversial departure from Manchester United earlier this week.

The 37-year-old, once again, returned to the headlines as Portugal prepared for their World Cup opener.

A drab first half saw both sides staying cautious of each other’s counterattacks. Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi managed to make a good save against Ronaldo, repelling Portugal’s only serious attack before the break.

 The rhythm of the game changed dramatically, however, in the second period. Portugal increased the pressure on Ghana’s backline, finally scoring the opener through Ronaldo.

CR7 became the only player to have scored in five different World Cup campaigns when he put Portugal ahead in the 65th minute.

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However, Ghana bounced back quickly as they found the equalizer through Andre Ayew eight minutes later.

Ghana’s manager then made two instant changes as he tried to hold Portugal to the draw. But that turned out to be a mistake as the European giants restored their lead shortly afterwards.

Joao Felix scored his first World Cup goal by converting a fantastic through ball from Bruno Fernandes. Raphael Leao then doubled Portugal’s lead with a cheeky finish in the 80th minute.

It seemed Portugal had secured their easy win, but Ghana managed to hold them at bay with another goal.

Osman Bakuri made it 3-2, but his late goal wasn’t enough to prevent Portugal from finding a winning start to the World Cup.

Player Ratings

Portugal: Costa (5), Cancelo (6), Dias (6), Pereira (7), Guerreiro (6), Neves (6), Otavio (7), Fernandes (8), Felix (7), B. Silva (7), Ronaldo (7).

Bench: Palhinha (6), Mario (5), Carvalho (6), Leao (7), Ramos (6).

Ghana: Zigi (6), Amartey (6), Seidu (6), Djiku (5), Salisu (5), Rahman (6), Abdul Samed (6), Partey (7), Kudus (7), Williams (6), Ayew (7).

Bench: Lamptey (5), Bakuri (7), Kyereh (6), Semenyo (5), A, Ayew (6).