Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty mark against Ghana, in Portugal’s first match in Group H, thus becoming the first player in history to score in five different World Cup tournaments (2006-2010-2014-2018-2022).
And Brazil achieved a deserved victory over Serbia after a match in which it had the upper hand.
Football fans were looking forward to Ronaldo’s appearance in the Qatar World Cup after the uproar caused by his statements during his television interview days before the start of the tournament, in which he said that he did not respect coach Eric Ten Hag, and how he felt betrayed in Manchester United, so the club terminated the player’s contract two days ago.
The Portuguese were able to extend their control over the course of the first half, despite the movements of Ghanaian Mohamed Qudous in counter-attacks, which were relatively dangerous.
In the second half, the referee awarded a penalty kick to Portugal in the sixty-fourth minute, after blocking Cristiano Ronaldo, so the five-time Ballon d’Or player turned it into a goal.
But soon, Andre Ayew equalized the score for Ghana, from a Quddus pass in the seventy-third minute.
Two minutes later, Joao Felix scored the second goal for Portugal, then substitute Rafael Leao added the third goal for the team dubbed “Brazil Europe”.
But Osman Bockari narrowed the difference before the end of the regular time of the match, which increased the enthusiasm of the Ghanaians and the tension of Ronaldo, who was sitting on the bench after being substituted in the 87th minute.
Portuguese defender Jose Fonte told BBC Radio: “I know that Ronaldo has a competitive mentality, he is like a beast, and because of this mentality he achieved what he wanted.”
It is worth noting that Portugal, which is participating for the eighth time in the World Cup, was forced to play a play-off after finishing second in the European qualifiers behind Serbia in Group A.
As for the representative of the African continent, he participates for the fourth time in his history in the World Cup.
In Group G, Brazil won 2-0 over Serbia, in a match dominated by the Brazilians.
Neymar, the Brazil star, was injured in the match.
Richarlison, the star of the Selecao, scored both goals. The second goal will be in the list of the most beautiful goals of the competition.
The Tottenham striker has thus scored nine goals in his last seven appearances for the Seleção, in all competitions.
Former England striker Chris Sutton commented to BBC Radio 5 on Richarlison’s two goals, saying: “Richarlison is a striker who is in the right place and time, and his second goal is international, as he did not allow the Serbian goalkeeper any chance to clear the ball.”
And the appetite of the Brazilians to score more goals increased, had it not been for the crossbar and the Serbian goalkeeper.
The Selecao is the most crowned champion with 5 times. The 2002 World Cup was the last championship the Brazilians won.
Serbia qualified for the World Cup from Group A in the European qualifiers, beating Portugal, which was forced to play the qualifying playoffs.
It is noteworthy that the two teams, Brazil and Serbia, were signed in the same group at the last World Cup in Russia. Their meeting resulted in a two-goal victory for the Brazilians.
Also in Group H, the Uruguay-South Korea match ended in a goalless draw, in a match in which the post stood, preventing Uruguay from scoring any goal.
Defender Godin’s header hit the right post in the first half, as well as Valverde’s shot in the second half.
The match took place at the Education City Stadium in Qatar, in anticipation of the performance of the stars of the two teams Luis Suarez and Valverde (Uruguay) and Son Heung-min, the most prominent star of the South Korean national team, who plays in the ranks of Tottenham Hotspur.
“It was a very frustrating game,” former Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann told the BBC. “It was the last piece of the ball missing but it was a good game overall, but it doesn’t really help either team.”
As for Clinton Morrison, the former Republic of Ireland striker, he said that he believes that the two teams are satisfied with the draw, and he added in statements to him on BBC Radio: “I think the result is fair in the end, the match only lacked the necessary efficiency in the last third of the field. And it was It’s difficult for Son Heung-min, who has two or three Uruguayan players around him.”
Uruguay won the World Cup twice, in 1930 and 1950.
As for South Korea, it is participating for the eleventh time, and the fourth place in 2002, when it organized the World Cup with Japan, is its best achievement in the history of its participation.
Also in Group G, the Swiss national team started its campaign in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by defeating its Cameroonian counterpart with a free goal, scored by Brill Empolo, who refused to celebrate his goal due to his Cameroonian origins.
The Cameroonian national team was in control of the course of the first half, but the second half came in favor of the Swiss, who scored their goal in the forty-seventh minute, in the meeting that took place at the South Stadium.
Former Scotland player Pat Neville told BBC Radio: “In some moments of the first half I felt Cameroon were a little bit ahead, but as the game went on they lost their energy. Cameroon will have to do something incredibly special in order to qualify from the group.”
The Cameroonian national team is one of the most participating African teams in the World Cup tournaments. This is his eighth participation, and he is the first African team to succeed in reaching the quarter-finals in the international forum. And that was in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which is also an achievement achieved by Senegal and Ghana in the 2002 and 2010 editions, respectively.
Samuel Eto’o, President of the Cameroon Football Federation, had said before the start of the tournament that his country’s national team was going to Qatar to win the title.