Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups as his penalty helped Portugal secure a 3-2 win over Ghana in a thrilling Group H encounter.
Ronaldo, a free agent after leaving Manchester United by mutual consent in the wake of his explosive interview, hit back at his critics with yet another piece of history when he converted the opener from the spot after he was fouled by Mohammed Salisu (65).
Ghana equalised against the run of play when Andre Ayew, their own veteran striker, fired home from close range (73), but Portugal immediately responded with quickfire goals from Joao Felix (78) and substitute Rafael Leao (80).
Ronaldo, who scored his first World Cup goal as a 21-year-old back in 2006, revelled in the spotlight following a tumultuous week and received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the closing stages, but Portugal had to survive a nervy finale after Osman Bukari headed home Ghana’s second goal (89).
Ghana had a golden opportunity to level in the 10th minute of stoppage time when Inaki Williams caught Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa unawares to steal possession in the box, but the forward lost his footing at the crucial moment, allowing Ronaldo and his team-mates to cling on for victory.
0′ KICK-OFF! Who can win this match?
4′ Otavioi’s long shot inches wide!
10′ CLOSE!Ronaldo misses a golden chance!
31′ OFFSIDE! Ronaldo‘s goal disallowed
35′ CLOSE! Felix’s shot wide out
41′ Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot is blocked by a defender
44′ Yellow Card! Mohammed Kudus booked
48′ Yellow Card! A.Ayew booked
55′ CLOSE! Kudus’s shot wide out
56′ Yellow Card! Alidu Seidu booked
64′ Penalty Goal! Portugal 1-0 Ghana (Ronaldo)
72′ GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Ghana (A.Ayew)
77′ GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Ghana (Felix)
79′ GOAL! Portugal 3-1 Ghana (Leao)
82′ OFFSIDE! Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot is blocked by the goalkeeper
88′ GOAL! Portugal 3-2 Ghana (Bukari)
Portugal XI: Ronaldo, Danilo Pereira, Cancelo, Guerreiro, Otávio, Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Dias, Bernardo, Diogo Costa, Felix
Subs: Pepe, Patricio, Carvalho, Andre Silva, Mario, Jose Sa, João Palhinha, Ricardo Horta, Dalot, Leao, Matheus Nunes, Vitinha, Gonçalo Ramos, António Silva
Ghana XI: A.Ayew, Baba, Partey, Amartey, Djiku, I.Williams, Lawrence Ati Zigi, Mohammed Kudus, Mohammed Salisu, Salis Abdul Samed, Alidu Seidu
Subs: Denis Odoi, Jordan Ayew, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Owusu, Aidoo, Gideon Mensah, Abdul Nurudeen, Ibrahim Danlad, Antoine Semenyo, Kamal Sowah, Osman Bukari, Tariq Lamptey, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Daniel Afriyie, Issahaku Fatawu