Former Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo, became the first player to score in five World Cups as his penalty helped Portugal secure a 3-2 win over Ghana in a thrilling Group H encounter in Qatar on Thursday.
Ronaldo, a free agent after leaving Manchester United by mutual consent in the wake of his explosive interview, hit back at his critics with another piece of history when he converted the opener from the spot after he was fouled by Mohammed Salisu in the 65th minute.
Ghana equalised against the run of play when Andre Ayew, their own veteran striker, fired home from close range in the 73rd minute, but Portugal immediately responded with quickfire goals from Joao Felix in the 78th minute and substitute Rafael Leao in the 80th minute, with both set up by Bruno Fernandes.
Ronaldo, who scored his first World Cup goal as a 21-year-old back in 2006, revelled in the spotlight following a tumultuous week and received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the closing stages, but Portugal had to survive a nervy finale after Osman Bukari headed home Ghana’s second goal in the 89the minute.
Ghana had a golden opportunity to level in the 10th minute of stoppage time when Inaki Williams caught Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa unawares to steal possession in the box, but the forward lost his footing at the crucial moment, allowing Ronaldo and his team-mates to cling on for victory.
The victory sends Portugal top of Group H ahead of their meeting with Uruguay on Monday.
Uruguay were held to a goalless draw by South Korea in the earlier game in the group.