Ronaldo Makes History As Ghana Scores African First Goal At The 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score at five different FIFA World Cups  (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022), as Portugal began their campaign with a sensational victory over the Black Stars of Ghana.

Ronaldo was playing for the first time since his controversial television interview last week with Piers Morgan, which led to an immediate termination of his contract by his employers Manchester United just two-days before he faced Ghana in the World's biggest sporting event in Qatar.

The Portuguese captain, had a couple of chances early on in the Group H opening match at the Stadium 974 on Thursday evening, which led to the forward having a goal disallowed for a push on Alexander Djiku while at the other end, Ghana did not have a single shot in the opening period.

After a goalless first half, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a controversial penalty after being tripped in the box by Ghana's Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu.

Ronaldo converted from the spot in the 65th minute to become Portugal’s oldest AND youngest scorer at a World Cup.

It's his eight World Cup goals across five tournaments, his first coming from the spot against Iran back at the 2006 showpiece in Germany.

Ghana also improved their game in the second half as Mohammed Kudus drilled narrowly wide of the far post and got their reward when former West Ham and Swansea striker Andre Ayew equalised from close range.

The goal for Black Stars, made them the first African team to score at the ongoing tournament, after other representatives like Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Cameroon all failed to score in their first games.

Portugal responded with two goals in two minutes to put the Selecao in command with Joao Felix converting a delightfully clipped finish in the 78th minute, and substitute Rafael Leao coolly stroking in just seconds (80th minute) after coming on to make it 3-1.

It was the first goal for the two Portugal players on their world Cup debuts (João Félix and Rafael Leão), and for just the country's second time, after Jose Torres and Jose Augusto also scored against Hungary in 1966.

with 10 minutes remaining, Osman Bukari headed in a late consolation for Ghana in the 89th minute.

And as if the goals thriller wasn't enough, there could have been real drama in the ninth minute of stoppage time.

Goalkeeper Diogo Costa almost handed Inaki Williams a stoppage-time equaliser as he attempted to put the ball down seemingly unaware that the Athletic Bilbao's forward was behind him, but after racing to intercept the ball, Williams slipped at the crucial moment, sparing Costa's blushes.

Ronaldo’s reaction from the Portugal bench after he was replaced by Goncalo Ramos in the 88th minute perfectly summed up the chaotic sequence of events that followed in the 10th minute of stoppage-time.

 Fernando Santos' men held on to secure the three points as they top Group H after Uruguay and South Korea played out a goalless draw earlier in the day.

The Portugal team will now switch focus to the match against Uruguay next Monday, which could be an equally tasty game.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo hogs the headlines again, but this time for the right reasons, as he surpassed the great Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose to stand on his own by scoring at five different editions of the tournament.

It was also a record-extending 118th international goal for the veteran striker, becoming the only player in history to score in 10 consecutive international tournaments. World Cup: (2006,2010,2014,2018,2022), and Euros (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2021). 

Ronaldo was also handed the Man of the Match award, making him the most Man of the Match awards winner (7) at the World Cup, ahead of Netherlands Arjen Robben (6), and Argentine star Lionel Messi (6).

Ronaldo only took two questions during his media duties after the game, he was reportedly there for just two minutes and 12 seconds before he promptly excited. His only notable line was;

"This is a moment that makes me very proud. That chapter (Man United) is closed. I’m here to win. The rest does not matter... Said the 37-year-old who is currently without a club

"It's a beautiful moment, in my 5th World Cup. We won, we started off on the right foot, a very important victory. Another record too, the only player to score in five consecutive World Cups, that for me it is a reason of great pride.

"I am very happy for the team to have made an excellent performance. Difficult, but fair winner."

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