Portugal 3-2 Ghana: Player ratings as Ronaldo sets a record in a crazy game

Portugal 3-2 Ghana

Portugal beat Ghana 3-2 in their first game of the World Cup, despite a scare at the end. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player ever to score at five different World Cups.

All five goals were scored in the last 30 minutes. Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot, then Andre Ayew tied the score, and Joao Felix and Rafael Leao scored in quick succession for Portugal. Late on, Ghana sub Osman Bukari made things interesting, and Ghana could have even tied it up at the end.

Before the game, Mohammed Kudus was in the news for making rude comments about Neymar, which he later called “fake news.” But the Ajax player didn’t get off to a good start and got caught on the ball a few times when he tried to play too deep.

In the second, Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi, who was usually a back-up until injuries made him the first choice here, ran out to stop a Ronaldo shot. Not long after that, Ronaldo had another great chance, this time in the air, but for some strange reason, he missed it.

Half an hour into the game, Ronaldo did score, but the play was called back because the 37-year-old had made a mistake when he won the ball.

During the first half, Ghana worked hard to keep Portugal away, but this meant that they didn’t have as many creative ways to attack. But Kudus was always likely to be the best source of something, and he showed flashes of his talent with a driving run and a low shot that just missed the target.

Alidu Seidu could have been sent off by the Black Stars around the hour mark. He got a yellow card for hurting Felix, but he didn’t get any more punishment when he pushed his head into the Portuguese player.

Not long after that, Ghana was angry when Ronaldo fell in the penalty area as Mohammed Salisu tried to win the ball. But the 37-year-old got to the ball first, before the defender touched it, and then he didn’t make a mistake when he shot it from 12 yards into the top corner.

Kudus was getting more and more dangerous, and when he ran past the ball and into a better position, he was able to cross the ball low to Ayew to tie the game. Before the Ghana captain shot it in, the ball got between Danilo Pereira’s legs.

But Kudus and Ayew didn’t stay on the field for long, and when Bruno Fernandes finally made some important contributions, the game quickly went back to Portugal. Two well-placed through balls, one to the right and one to the left, gave Fernando Santos’s team a quick 2-0 lead. Felix calmly finished to give them the lead back at 2-1, and Leao’s first-time finish made it 3-1.

For Portugal, that should have been the end of the game. But Joao Cancelo lost focus on defence, which let Baba Rahman cross from the left. Bukari headed the ball in, giving Ghana a chance to make a late comeback.

Portugal seemed to have done just enough to hold on, but in the last seconds, goalkeeper Diogo Costa put the ball down without realising that Inaki Williams was hiding behind him. Williams got it, but he slipped at the most important time and lost the chance.

1. Portugal (4-3-1-2)

Diogo Costa, the goalkeeper, got a 3/10 because he didn’t save as many goals as he let in, and he almost let Ghana score an equaliser in the last few seconds because he wasn’t paying attention.

RB: Joao Cancelo – 4/10 – Not the same attacking fullback that fans of Manchester City are used to seeing. Ghana’s second goal was caused by.

CB: Ruben Dias – 5/10 – Not his best day, especially since Portugal had a lot of chances to be in cruise control.

CB: Danilo Pereira (5/10): He’s used to playing centre back for his country, but he should have cleared the ball when Ghana scored their first goal.

LB: Raphael Guerreiro (5/10): In the first half, he was the most daring of the Portuguese fullbacks. In the second, defensively shady.

CM: Bernardo Silva – 6/10 – Seen the ball a lot, but didn’t do much with it to really test Ghana.

CM: Ruben Neves (6/10): Protected the back four and was always an option to keep the ball moving.

CM: Otavio got 5/10 because his last pass into the box was often off. Was hurt and had to leave the game early in the first half.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – The first half was too quiet, but things changed a lot after the break. Two assists that were just right.

ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (c) – 7/10 – He missed early chances that he might have taken. Had a goal taken away because of a foul, but scored from the penalty spot and led the line pretty well in general.

ST: Joao Felix, 7/10. Like many of his teammates, his radar seemed to be way off in the first half. Composed his goal’s finish.

SUB: William Carvalho (56′ for Otavio) – 7/10

Neves is replaced by Rafael Leao (at 77′). – 7/10

SUB: Joao Palhinha (88′ for Silva) – N/A

SUB: Joao Mario (88′ for Felix) – N/A

SUB: Goncalo Guedes (88′ for Ronaldo) – N/A

Manager: Fernando Santos – 7/10 – In the first half, things weren’t going so well, but the changes he made made a big difference.

2. Ghana (3-5-2)

GK: Lawrence Ati-Zigi – 6/10 – Getting a good save early on against Ronaldo was a big confidence boost. The power of the penalty kick beat them, and they didn’t have much of a chance with the others.

CB: Daniel Amartey (7/10): Did a good job defending on the right side of the back three. Always quick to close in, make a tackle, and clear the area.

CB: Alexander Djiku got a 6/10, which is fine given the situation.

CB: Mohammed Salisu (5/10): No matter how much he protested, he tackled Ronaldo a split second too late and gave away the penalty.

Alidu Seidu got a 5/10 for RWB. He may have been lucky to stay on the field after he hit Felix in the head. Anyhow, they were replaced soon after.

CM: Thomas Partey got a 6/10 because he had some good moments and tried to make sharp passes.

Salis Abdel Samed, the centre midfielder, got a 7/10. He passed the ball well and had a lot of energy to get the ball back in midfield.

CM: Mohammed Kudus, 8/10. Early on, he was caught a few times on the ball. Played better when he was further forward, and he was by far Ghana’s most dangerous offensive player.

LWB: Baba Rahman – 6/10 – Couldn’t get his feet in order in time to stop the pass that led to Portugal’s second goal. But because he didn’t give up, Ghana came in second.

ST: Andre Ayew (c) – 7/10. He scored the equaliser in the six-yard box with a striker’s instinct. Didn’t look too happy to get off soon after.

ST: Inaki Williams got a 5/10 because he didn’t get the help he needed.

SUB: Tariq Lamptey (67′ for Seidu) – 6/10

Jordan Ayew came in for Ayew in the 77th minute.

SUB: Osman Bukari (77′ for Kudus) – 7/10

SUB: Daniel-Kofi Kyerah (90+3 for Djiku) – N/A

Antoine Semenyo (90+3 for Samed) – Not Applicable

Manager: Otto Addo – 6/10 – It was strange for Ghana to take off Kudus and Ayew right after they got back into the game. Maybe Kudus should have been in front from the start.

Mohammed Kudus was the best player of the game (Ghana)