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FIFA World Cup 2022: Portugal vs Ghana: An evening of suspense

Portugal beat Ghana by 3-2, with a second half filled with five goals and several scares



Courtesy: Twitter/ FIFA World Cup

Portuguese ship cruises past the Ghanian shore

With Argentina stumbling in their opening group game, the focus of all football fans shifted to the performance of the other ‘GOAT’: Portugal’s captain and leading goal-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal is placed in Group H, also called the Group of Death in this tournament for it houses 4 top-tough teams: Ghana, Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea.

With Uruguay vs South Korea game resulting in a draw, the odds were in favour of the winner of the Portugal- Ghana game, who would make it to the top of the group with 3 crucial points.

Ghana has cemented their place as a top African contender in the World Cup with back-to-back qualifications since 2006 (2018 WC being the only exception) Their almost semi-final finish in the 2010 South Africa World Cup, was prevented by Uruguay striker Luis Suarez’s handball still resonates about the inherent prowess and progress of the ‘Black Stars’.  

Portugal and Ghana are no strangers to each other. They had played in the group stages of the 2014 Brazil World cup as well, with Ghanaian star Asamoah Gyan equalising the Portuguese lead but CR7 heading in the winner in the 80th minute of the game.

The present game, played in stadium 974 began almost even-handedly leading to a goalless first half but with several moments of promise including a disallowed goal from Ronaldo. 

Courtesy: FIFA World Cup

The spectators across nationalities were conscious throughout that Ronaldo was playing in his fifth and most likely final World Cup. It is hence that a huge roar ensued when the five-time Ballon d’or winner touched the ball for the first time in the game.  

Known for setting and breaking records, Ronaldo made history by scoring the 65th-minuteth minute penalty kick to become the only player to have scored in five World Cup editions. 

Courtesy: Twitter/ FIFA World Cup

It was however met with a spirited equaliser by Ghana’s Captain Andre Ayew who scored in through a crucial cross.  The game shifted sides as within minutes Portuguese rising star Joao Felix, who plays his club football for Atletico Madrid scored through a well-crafted pass by Manchester United man, Bruno Fernandez

Ronaldo provided a timely assist to Rafael Leao to score the third goal for the night. Ghana however fought till the very end, with Osman Bukari powering in a header in the 89th minute and an almost goal attempt in the extra time. 

“Only in the last 15 minutes did we manage to quicken the pace and get into dangerous positions, with more variety and creativity. Up to then we controlled the game but lacked the fluidity and creativity that we showed in our last game and which my players are capable of. You have to give credit to Ghana too, who shut down spaces, but we could have done better in the first half.”

– Fernando Santos, Portugal Coach

Stadium 974 in Ras Abu Aboud, Doha, Qatar opened its doors on November 30, 2021, What makes this stadium so unique is that it is a temporary venue made from 974 recycled shipping containers and hence the name. It will host a limited number of matches in the World Cup and will then be dismantled. It is the first temporary venue in FIFA World Cup history.

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]