Portugal vs Ghana: Talking points from Portugal's nail-biting win over spirited Ghana

The former Euro Cup champions defeated a tenacious Ghanaian side 3-2 in a match that had all the makings of one of the tournament's most memorable games.

Portugal players in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/FIFA World Cup)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Nov 25, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


The second half of Portugal’s 2022 FIFA World Cup match against Ghana on Thursday was possibly the best bit of football drama the tournament has seen so far. The former Euro Cup champions defeated a tenacious Ghanaian side 3-2 in a match that had all the makings of one of the tournament’s most memorable games. Cristiano Ronaldo put his team ahead with a well-taken penalty in the 65th minute, only for Andrew Ayew to cancel it out eight minutes later. Joao Felix and Raphael Leao extended Portugal’s lead with goals in the 78th and 80th minutes, respectively, but Osman Bukari’s 89th-minute finish saw the tie end in a thrilling fashion. Here are the talking points from the second Group H match.

Ronaldo writes a new chapter

When Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game’s first goal, a piece of history was written. A little after the hour mark, the former Manchester United man went down in the Ghanaian penalty box, earning a spot kick. There was no doubt about who would take the kick, as the Portuguese captain rose to the occasion and smashed the ball past Lawrence Ati-Zigi. Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in five different World Cups.

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Portugal wasteful in the first half

Despite scoring three fine goals in the second half, Portugal seemed toothless in the first. They created quite a few chances but were unable to convert on multiple occasions. If they are to go deep into the competition, their front three must be more composed in front of goal. Otherwise, in front of the bigger teams at the competition, they will have a mountain to climb if they go behind.

Rafael Leao makes the difference

Leao entered the game as a substitute in the 77th minute, replacing Ruben Neves. He only played 13 minutes but attempted two shots, one of which was successful and the other was blocked. His pace proved too much for Ghana’s tired defenders, allowing Portugal to score twice in quick succession on the counter-attack.



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