meSometimes a little is enough to go from an enduring memory to a bitter-tasting memory. This was what happened to the Black Stars this Thursday, November 24 in Qatar. By committing a slight foul, in the eyes of the referee, the American Ismail Elfath, the Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu offered a historic goal to Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first player to score at least one goal in five different World Cups.

Despite everything, Portugal suffered to bring a combative Ghana (3-2) to a waist for their first game in the 2022 World Cup, in a euphoric 974 stadium.

Ghana’s plan: hold up well in defense

On the pitch, Ronaldo has long been pursuing the goal that would allow him to win this new record: to be the first to score at least one goal in five different World Cups. He first missed a great opportunity, due to poor control (10me), then he was denied the first goal for fouling a defender (31me).

When, shortly before game time for the 2022 World Cup against Ghana, Cristiano Ronaldo falls in the penalty area, an immense roar descends from the stands of the 974 stadium in Doha. The American Ismail Elfath does not hesitate: he is aiming for the penalty spot.

Can Mohammed Salisu’s guilt be slight? Does not matter. After three minutes, the time for the usual protests from the sanctioned team, after carefully setting the ball down, Ronaldo rushes in and leaves Ghanaian goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi no chance, but started from the right.

His dry shot opens the match score, but above all he writes a new page in the legend of CR7. He runs to the corner of the field on the side of the Portuguese fans to let out his usual hoarse shout and celebrate, as always, his goal with a complete turn in the air. But, to seize the moment, he joined his teammates a few seconds later in their half of the field.

“When someone scores, you can only congratulate them, but it was really a gift,” said Ghana coach Otto Addo. “If you look back at the action, we were playing the ball, it was actually a foul against us,” he added.

Loin d’éteindre les Black Stars et leurs formidables supporteurs, dont les chants on mis une enormous ambiance et leurs huées ont sans doute brisé les oreilles de Ronaldo, ce but a donné le vrai coup d’envoi d’un match jusqu’ici terribly farm.

Ghana quickly equalized through André Ayew (73me).

Offensive Black Stars

Portugal, determined not to spoil their captain’s evening, reacted and showed the immensity of their offensive potential by taking off again with two victorious accelerations from Joao Félix (78me) and the prankster Rafael Leao (80me).

At 3-1, Fernando Santos thought he had finally tamed the Ghanaians and brought Ronaldo out to give him a standing ovation (87me). But that was without counting on the Ghanaian killjoy, who would make CR7 jump off his bench several times, first by quickly lowering the mark with Osman Bukari’s head, again in a fairly innocuous action (89me). The Ghanaian striker indulged in a lèse majesté gesture by imitating Ronaldo’s celebration by spinning in the air, arms and legs outstretched!

Portugal trembled until the end in a once again interminable game (ten minutes of extra time), due in particular to some friction between players from the two teams.

The Ghanaians were even close to giving a new surprise in this World Cup, but they did not know how to take advantage of a final oversight by the Lusitanian goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who had not seen a rival striker behind him (90+9).me).

Enough to give Ghana a bit of grief, whose tough game plan they have long strived to follow was mostly about seeing it coming with their two defensive lines and nine outfield players packed into their camp.

“We were playing the ball and there is contact. I don’t know what the VAR was looking at. But, if you look at the action, we were playing the ball, it was actually a foul against us,” Addo added. “I asked the FIFA people if I could talk to the referee a bit. [une fois le match terminé, NDLR]in a calm way, but they told me that it was not possible”, specified the Ghanaian coach.

READ ALSOWorld Cup: Will Ghana confirm its rebound?

* Ghana group stage matches: November 28 vs. South Korea at 2:00 p.m. French time; December 2 against the UYou are gay at 16:00 French time.

Consult our file: FIFA World Cup 2022