Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups on Thursday when he scored the first goal from a penalty kick in Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Ghana.
The 37-year-old set a record by scoring a penalty in the 65th minute at the 974 Stadium in Doha to put Fernando Santos’ side in first place in Group H, two points ahead of Uruguay. South Korea
Joao Felix and rising star Rafael Leão secured the win after leveler André Ayew briefly threatened to ruin Ronaldo’s party.
Osman Boukari scored a last-minute goal for Ghana, but the tournament’s lowest-ranked team couldn’t handle the shock to finish bottom of the group.
Ronaldo overtakes Pelé and Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, who have scored in four World Cups, after Mohammed Salisu knocked him down and converted a penalty himself.
Manchester United announced this week that Ronaldo would leave the club immediately after criticizing the club and manager Erik ten Hag in a TV interview, but he showed no signs of tension from the bitter end until his time at Old Trafford.
All the attention before the match was on Ronaldo and whether he could break the record and he had a great chance to do it in the 10th minute.
Mohammed Kudus carelessly passed the ball in midfield and Otavio eluded Ronaldo, only for the once-clinical finisher to miss the pass and crash into Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Ziga as he was trying to hit the target.
And shortly thereafter, Ronaldo headed Rafael Guerreiro from close range, a chance that in his best years he was almost guaranteed to score.
He did have the ball in the net just after the half-hour mark when he fell on him in the penalty area, but referee Ismail Elfat reprimanded him harshly for pushing Alexander Djika before turning around and delivering a classy shot.
In fact, Ronaldo was the only real threat to Portugal’s goals against the weakest team on paper in Group H, supported by a group of enthusiastic fans who put on more shows in the stands than their regular players initially put on the pitch.
Ajax midfielder Kudous briefly stumped fans 10 minutes into the break when he rushed forward against Portugal’s undefended defense and landed a powerful shot that eventually went wide of Diogo Costa’s left post.
Ronaldo then crashed in his record penalty, but as the chorus of applause and chants of his name began to die down, the previously dull game came to life, Ayew stunned the crowd by pressing Kudus’ pullback in the 73rd minute.
However, Félix and Leão ensured that Portugal scored with two perfect finishes in as many minutes, with both blows coming from Ronaldo’s former United teammate Bruno Fernandes.
Boukari then imitated Ronaldo by celebrating a goal after going home completely unnoticed, but Portugal pulled off a big win on a historic day.