Bruno Fernandes was Portugal’s star man with two assists… but Diogo Costa has room for improvement after nearly gifting Ghana an equaliser: PLAYER RATINGS after a dramatic opener in Group H
- Portugal picked up a 3-2 win over Ghana in a thrilling World Cup encounter
- Cristiano Ronaldo put his Man United misery behind him to open the scoring
- His strike from the penalty spot was the first of five goals in a crazy 24 minutes
- Andre Ayew levelled, but Joao Felix and Rafael Leao then moved Portugal 3-1 up
- And after Osman Bukari pulled one back for Ghana, Inaki Williams slipped with the goal gaping after creeping up on Diogo Costa and dispossessing him
- It was a dramatic game at Stadium 974, which could have ended with six goals
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Portugal emerged victorious from a five-goal thriller with Ghana in their opening World Cup match on Thursday.
Following a drab first half which ended in a stalemate, the two sides slugged it out in sensational fashion after the interval, with five goals coming in the space of 24 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo got the first of them from the penalty spot with 25 minutes remaining after being brought down in the box by Mohammed Salisu, which saw him become the first man to score at five World Cups, before Andre Ayew went down the other end and equalised for Ghana eight minutes later.
Moments later, Joao Felix and Rafael Leao needed just a couple of minutes to hand Portugal a two-goal cushion, only for Osman Bukari to give the Black Stars hope by pulling one back in the final minute of normal time.
Portugal picked up a 3-2 win over Ghana in a thrilling World Cup encounter on Thursday
Inaki Williams (R) came mightily close to snatching a point for Ghana right at the death
And in the dying seconds of what proved an enthralling encounter, Inaki Williams crept up on goalkeeper Diogo Costa and dispossessed him in the box, only to slip with the goal and a potential last-gasp equaliser gaping.
It was an unforgettable battle in Doha, and Sportsmail is on hand with player ratings from both sets of teams.
Portugal (4-3-3): Diogo Costa 6: Not at fault for either of Ghana’s goals, but very nearly gifted Williams at the death. Room to improve for the Porto keeper.
Cancelo 7: Man City’s defensive 28-year-old put in a shift as Portugal tried to close off the Black Stars, but was beaten by Baba Rahman in build-up to late goal.
Dias 7: A standard performance in central defence, the 25-year-old from Amadora showed why he’s critical man for club and country.
Danilo 6: Could have stopped Ghana’s opener by simply clearing the ball away. Got booked in stoppage time for bringing down Inaki Williams.
Danilo Pereira (R) was an important part of Portugal’s central defence alongside Ruben Dias
Guerreiro 7: Played the whole game and made 62 accurate passes from the left-back position as Portugal were solid at the back and saw off Ghana’s late charge.
Otavio 7.5: The Porto midfielder had one of the European side’s better performances, before picking up a knock and being withdrawn just before the hour mark.
Ruben Neves 6: One of the country’s weakest men on the field, and rightfully taken off the park with 13 minutes remaining.
Fernandes 8: Portugal’s star man, he was terrorising Ghana’s defenders, and an aide to his compatriots with two assists. Booked for a stoppage time pull on opponent.
Bruno Fernandes was Portugal’s star man as they held on to a narrow victory over rivals Ghana
Joao Felix 7: Scored a cool finish for Portugal’s second goal to put them back in the lead, his first since November 2020. Also did sterling work in the front third after the restart following a quiet first half.
Ronaldo 7: The world’s eyes were on the 37-year-old, and whilst it will not go down as his finest Portugal game, he secured his place in history with the opening penalty.
Bernardo Silva 7: Critical to Portugal’s midfield, and a vital part of their performance before being taken off late on.
Substitutes: William Carvalho 56mins 6, replaced Otavio: He slotted into the Portugal side despite the forced nature of the switch, and helped to change the pace of the game. Took over captain duties from Ronaldo.
Leao 77mins for Neves, Palhinha 88mins for Silva, Mario 88mins for Felix, Ramos 88mins for Ronaldo.
Substitute William Carvalho slotted into a changed Portugal line-up, and took on the armband
Ghana (5-4-1): Ati-Zigi 7: St Gallen’s goalkeeper was one of the better players, denying Portugal opportunities to run away with the match in the first half.
Seidu 5: Was booked for a late charge on Joao Felix after 57 minutes, and would have seen red on other days. Wisely replaced by Lamptey less than ten minutes later.
Djiku 5: Strasbourg central defender Djiku had a game to forget, albeit one he can quickly rectify against South Korea on Monday. Subbed off in stoppage time.
Amartey 6: Leicester City’s 27-year-old was one of the brightest sparks in Ghana’s defence as they valiantly tried to hold off one of the tournament favourites. He was caught in possession on a few occasions though.
Mohammed Salisu fouled Cristiano Ronaldo, conceding a penalty on his competitive debut
Salisu 6: Salisu’s first competitive game for the Black Stars after only joining the fold in September, he dubiously brought down Ronaldo which gave the 37-year-old his landmark penalty.
Baba Rahman 6: Chelsea man on loan at Reading, making a huge step up to face Ronaldo and company, and proving himself to be their equal on most occasions. Set up Bukari’s late goal, which balanced out his error for Portugal’s second.
Kudus 7: Made a great run to set up Ayew’s goal. Ghana’s best player, and one for other teams to watch out for future games. However, he’ll also have to watch out himself, after picking up a yellow card.
Partey 7: Arsenal man putting in a good shift for his country in the middle of the park, but unable to take the Gunners’ good form to the international level.
Abdul Samed 6: The Accra-born midfielder, currently plying his trade with Ligue 1 Lens, was one of the more forgettable figures in Ghana’s midfield, and couldn’t cope with the impeccable Fernandes.
Andre Ayew poked home the equaliser after a great run by teammate Mohammed Kudus
A Ayew 7: Poked home the equaliser with 17 minutes to play, and could have got more, causing trouble which Portugal’s defence struggled to counter.
Williams 7: A good performance in Ghana’s dangerous frontline. Booked for lashing out at Danilo Pereira. Could have stolen late winner, but slipped.
Substitutions: Lamptey 66mins for Seidu, Bukari 77mins for Kudus, J. Ayew 77mins for A. Ayew, Semenyo 90+2 for Abdul Samed, Kyereh 90+2 for Djiku.
Osman Bukari came on as a substitute, and his late goal created some stoppage time drama
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