3-2 success thanks to a record-breaking goal from CR7 and goals from the talents of Atletico and Milan: in the final, however, the Africans were close to equal with Inaki Williams

    Portugal started the World Cup on the right foot and an important hand, as has been the case for some time now, was given by Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the only player in history to score in 5 final stages with the penalty of the momentary 1-0 of the World Cup. Against a tough Ghana who defended well, ran a lot, but built little (at least until they went down 3-1), Fernando Santos’ men solved the problem in a pyrotechnic round in which they concentrate all five networks. In fact, after Andre Ayew’s draw, Joao Felix and AC Milan player Leao were decisive, who celebrated his first goal for the national team as soon as he entered. The smudges in the final minutes, which almost cost the 3-3, had to be avoided, but in spite of other big players, Portugal’s debut in Qatar 2022 was wet with a success. Not a detail…

    EQUILIBRIUM

    After the flop on Messi’s debut for Argentina, Ronaldo was eagerly awaited and did not disappoint. He sang the national anthem evidently moved, then he started as a center forward in a 4-3-3 formation that did not include the presence of Leao, initially on the bench because the trident was completed by Bernardo Silva (on the right) and Joao Felix and (on left). The former Manchester United player missed a goal not from him by getting blocked by Ati’s exit, he didn’t frame the goal with a header following a majestic break, finally he scored but, according to the referee, committing a foul to free himself by the marking of Djiku. The match was led by Portugal, with their pressing that crushed the Africans in their own half: Addo’s 5-3-2 was too covered and in the opening 45 minutes there wasn’t even a shot towards goal by Diogo Costa. Ronaldo and his teammates, however, kept too slow a pace and thus didn’t create great dangers: just 0-0 in the 45th minute and CR7 disappointed when leaving the field.

    CHRISTIAN… AND LEAO

    In the second half Ghana was a little more courageous and a diagonal from Kudus, after a great personal action, sent a real shiver down Diogo Costa’s back. The Portuguese struggled to build and relied on long balls that did not allow the 5 times Ballon d’Or to find space. The match became more balanced and it was evident that only the play of a single could change the starting 0-0. That “play” was made by Cristiano, skilled in obtaining and converting the 1-0 penalty, a goal that allowed him to become the first in history to score in 5 different final stages of the World Cup. CR7 celebrated as usual, with the jump and the “yess” shouted near the flag, believing 25′ from the end that he had steered the game and instead Addo’s team found an equalizer with Andre Ayew. Ghana seemed to be back in the running, they had enthusiasm and physicality, but going even in search of doubling with a couple of substitutions that left us perplexed (off Andre Ayew and above all Kudus), they simply lost a ball and collected the 2-1 on a restart on the Bernardo Silva-Joao Felix axis. Portugal ahead again and this time capable of not being recovered because the newcomer Leao stamped the 3-1, his first seal with the national team, just 120 seconds after Joao Felix’s goal. Bukari’s 3-2 was of no use because, after a carelessness by Diogo Costa, Inaki Williams missed the 3-3 in injury time by slipping: the Lusitanians are first in the group and a better start for CR7, with goals and victory, there could not be.

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