Cristiano Ronaldo made history when he became the first player to score in five World Cups, leading Portugal to a 3-2 victory over Ghana on Day 5 of the World Cup in Qatar.
The 37-year-old hit a booming penalty in the 61st minute to put Fernando Santos’ side ahead in the Group H encounter at Stadium 974 in Doha, with the striker eager to showcase his talents to potential new clubs after a bitter split this week with Manchester United.
Portugal’s advantage didn’t last long as Ghana captain Andre Ayew tied his side in the 73rd minute, marking the first goal by an African side at this year’s tournament.
The Black Stars’ vociferous fans erupted in revelry after watching their team fail to score a single shot in the first 45 minutes.
But the cheering scenes were short lived as Portugal turned up the heat with Joao Felix and Rafael Leao scoring twice in the next seven minutes to make it 3-1 after 80 minutes.
However, any hopes Portugal had of a comfortable walk to victory were dashed by Ghana’s Osman Bukari, who made it 3-2 in the 89th minute.
Tense minutes of extra time followed, but Portugal held on to take three points and put themselves at the top of the group.
Portugal will play against Uruguay on Monday. Ghana will play against South Korea on the same day.
Brazil vs Serbia
Brazil opened their World Cup campaign in style with Richarlison leading the tournament favorites to a 2-0 win against Serbia at Lusail Stadium.
The 25-year-old striker scored just after the hour mark in the Group G match and scored a spectacular second goal shortly after in the 73rd minute.
Serbia, who had put up a staunch resistance for the first two-thirds of the game, had to chase shadows as Brazil’s players swept the ball around and made regular strikes into their opponents’ penalty area, underlining their credentials as the most dangerous side in the competition. .
But there was concern about star striker Neymar.
The 30-year-old had helped Selecao win the 2013 Confederations Cup and its first Olympic gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games, but he was hobbled out of action against Serbia in the 80th minute after a blow to his right ankle.
Neymar had problems with that foot before and the Paris St Germain player sat on the bench with his face covered as he received treatment for the rest of the game.
Brazil’s win keeps them top of Group G, followed by Switzerland.
The South American giants, who are looking for a sixth World Cup victory, will play against Switzerland on Monday. Serbia will play Cameroon on the same day.
Uruguay vs South Korea
Uruguay and South Korea started their World Cup campaigns at the Education City Stadium in Doha with a quick game that ended in a goalless draw.
Despite a lack of goals, the atmosphere in the stadium was exciting, with South Korean fans beating drums throughout the match.
Uruguay – known as La Celeste – came closest to scoring when Diego Godin hit the post with a header in the first half. Federico Valverde hit the post again in the 89th minute with a long range attempt.
South Korea also had several chances and will be frustrated that Hwang Ui-jo couldn’t do more after going unmarked in the 37th minute.
Switzerland v Cameroon
Playing at the Al Janoub Stadium, Switzerland passed a lively Cameroon team in their Group G match and kept their unbeaten record in their opening World Cup matches.
Striker Breel Embolo scored the winning goal for Switzerland in the first half.
The 25-year-old was born in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, but moved to Switzerland with his family and became a Swiss citizen shortly after his 18th birthday.
After scoring, Embolo held up his hands in apology as teammates celebrated around him. He pointed to Swiss fans behind the goal where he had scored, then to Cameroonian fans in the opposite corner of the stadium.
Cameroon were the better team in the first half, while Switzerland recovered in the second half.
After the 1-0 victory, Switzerland will play against Brazil on Monday, while Cameroon will face Serbia.
Off the field:
Social media sensation
Abubakr Abbass, a 23-year-old from Kenya, has emerged as a fan favorite — and accidental social media sensation — in Qatar.
Seated on a tennis referee chair and wearing a big foam finger, he guides the hundreds of fans visiting the historic market, called Souq Waqif, to the nearby metro station using his trusty megaphone.
His helpful advice: ‘Metro? In this way. Subway? This way’, has now become a slogan.
“I saw him on TikTok. I thought it was really funny. He makes me laugh; it’s such a simple task,” said a young fan dressed in a Chelsea football shirt.
Fake video about Ukraine fans
Al Jazeera has said a video attributed to the news network circulating on social media is fake.
The video alleges that three “drunken” Ukrainian football fans had been arrested and also spread “Nazi symbols” in Doha.
“The video in question is completely fake and Al Jazeera has never published any news about this story,” Al Jazeera said in a statement.
The video’s main message about the “Ukrainian Nazis” reflects pro-Russian disinformation circulating on the internet.
“Russia’s basic story for exports is the so-called ‘Nazi’ nature of Ukraine’s political regime,” Kyiv-based analyst Aleksey Kushch told Al Jazeera.
The claims “serve to justify the war for both [a] domestic [Russian] public and foreign [audiences]”, said Kushch.
While Ukraine has a number of outspoken far-right, ultra-nationalist and white supremacist groups, their current influence on Ukraine’s political life is limited.