Cristiano Ronaldo becomes first player to score in five consecutive World Cup as Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 in World Cup opener.
Portugal: Diogo Costa; Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro; Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes; Otavio, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ghana: Lawrence Ati-Zigi; Alidu Seidu, Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku, Mohammed Salisu, Abdul-Rahman Baba; Mohammed Kudus, Thomas Partey, Salis Abdul Samed, Andre Ayew; Inaki Williams.
Portugal dominated the game as the first half began and mounted intense pressure on the Ghanaians.
The African side came into the match with a more solid form as they have defeated Switzerland in their warm-up friendly days before the kick-off of the Qatar World Cup.
They struggled against the Portuguese from the start of play and rarely threatened Portugal defense.
Portugal made great and fantastic moves down the wings and wrestled off the midfield from the Ghanaians.
They were threatening from all points of the game, pinning Ghana to their own half as they were forced to throughout the game.
Former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo found the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out after a foul in the buildup.
Ghana relied mainly on counterattacks but rarely made anything happen. They neither penetrated the Portuguese box nor tested the goalkeeper. It was Portugal all the way.
Despite a strong play by the European side, Portugal could not find the back of the net as the Ghanaian defence effectively checked on their moves inside the box, though jittery at some points.
The scoreline was still goalless as the game approached the final minutes of the first half. Portugal ramped up attempts to make their dominance count, all to no avail.
At the end of the first half, they had wrestled every aspect of the game from the Ghanaians but could not find the back of the net.
Portugal had 69% of the possession. They had seven good shots, with three on targets and three corner kicks.
Ghanaians played second fiddle to their opponents and never had any shot on target throughout the first half.
They had two corners and made 169 passes, completing 140, while Portugal made a total of 375 passes, completing 351.
Both sides went into the break with a barren draw, but Portugal were the better side at the end of the first half.
Nothing really changed as the second half began; Portugal maintained their dominance, while Ghana sat back to defend.
Portugal stepped up their game as they increased the pressure on the Ghanaian box, looking for an early second-half goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo came close again in the 55th minute but missed it, and Ghana had a chance to break on the counter again.
Kudos close in on the Portuguese box, but his right-footed strike was off target. Still, Ghana did not have a single touch of the ball in the Portuguese box after over 60 minutes of play.
Portugal still dominated the game and wielded possession comfortably, although they could not break the goal deadlock.
After intense pressure, Cristiano Ronaldo finally found the back of the net for Portugal in the 70th minute via a penalty, becoming the first player to score in five consecutive World Cup tournaments.
It was a deserved lead for the 2016 Euro Champions after several attempts.
In a surprise reaction, Ghana found an equaliser just two minutes later, with Ayew on the score sheet for the Ghanaians.
After the scores were leveled, Portugal retook dominance of the game as they sought to restore the lead.
They restored the lead just a few minutes later with Joao Felix on the score sheet.
A few minutes later, substitute Raphael Leao sank the Ghanaians with a low right-foot volley after a counterattack.
The game was now beyond Ghana as they did little to come back into the game.
Nevertheless, Ghana were still threatening down the right flank with a counterattack. In the 89th minute, Bukari scored to make it 3-2 for Ghana.
The game witnessed last-minute pressures on both sides, but it finally ended 3-2, with Portugal grabbing all three points to start their 2022 FIFA World Cup on a winning note.