Cristiano Ronaldo claimed a piece of World Cup goalscoring history on Thursday as he became the first man to score in five different editions of the World Cup after slotting home a penalty to help Portugal down Ghana 3-2 in their Group H clash.
The typically ice-cold spot-kick was Ronaldo’s eighth career goal at the World Cup and comes after a tumultuous week which saw the star forward make a sensational exit from Manchester United after weeks of tensions with the club.
But there was controversy surrounding the penalty, which was awarded after Ronaldo crashed theatrically to the turf following minimal contact with Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.
Andre Ayew raised hopes for Ghana with a 73rd-minute equaliser but goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao ensured a winning start for the Euro 2016 champions. Osman Bukari scored a late consolation for Ghana.
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Switzerland and Cameroon kicked off Thursday’s action in Qatar, with the Swiss winning 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Cameroon-born Breel Embolo.
The forward struck three minutes into the second half at Al Janoub Stadium as Switzerland secured a vital three points.
Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler worked the ball out wide on the right to Xherdan Shaqiri, whose low cross into the area was swept home by an unmarked Embolo, who chose not to celebrate against his birth country.
“It’s quite special for him because of his links to Cameroon – I’m very happy he’s playing for us,” said Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. “He’s always right there when you need him.”
The defeat condemned Cameroon to their eighth straight loss at World Cups – a miserable run stretching all the way back to 2002.
In Thursday’s other game, the return of Tottenham star Son Heung-min was not enough to inspire South Korea to victory with the Asian side grinding out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay in Group H.
The striker wore a mask to protect the injury he suffered while playing in the Champions League for Spurs as South Korea took a point in their opener.
The 30-year-old had surgery for fractures around his left eye just three weeks ago and this was his first time playing competitively since.