Portugal vs Ghana LIVE!
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off his bitter split with Manchester United to claim yet another record as he became the first player to score in five World Cups with a penalty to help steer his side to a nervy 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday.
Ronaldo, a free agent after his second stint at Old Trafford ended abruptly on Tuesday, thumped home a dubiously-awarded penalty in the 65th minute after a coming together with Mohammed Salisu. Ghana did nothing in the first half apart from defend deeply but gave their noisy bank of fans in the Stadium 974 something to cheer when Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute.
Joao Felix restored Portugal’s lead five minutes later, however, and Bruno Fernandes then showed his class with a jinking run before sliding a pass to Rafael Leao to leave Ghana stunned.
Osman Bukari’s 89th-minute headed reply set up an anxious ending for Portugal but they survived nine minutes of stoppage time to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time in their last four appearances.
Portugal vs Ghana highlights
GOAL! Ronaldo from the spot
GOAL! Ayew hits back
GOAL! Felix puts Portugal back ahead
GOAL! Leao seals it
GOAL! Bukari gives late hope
Portugal 3 – 2 Ghana
Thanks for joining us!
18:49 , Marc Mayo
A truly memorable World Cup clash between Portugal and Ghana goes the way of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Selecao.
Not had enough football? Head to our live blog of Brazil vs Serbia.
And you can recap the action from this game with our match report!
Now that’s how it’s done!
18:40 , Marc Mayo
Osman Bukari pulled out his own ‘SIU!’
18:29 , Marc Mayo
7/10 for effort, 6/10 for execution and a 3/10 for timing given Ghana were still behind when he did it.
Still, always fun to see players attempt to match Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration in front of him!
Ghana vow to bounce back
18:23 , Marc Mayo
They face South Korea next up, on Monday afternoon. Defeat in that one will send the Black Stars home.
One more game to come!
18:17 , Marc Mayo
The night’s action is not done yet…
Brazil take on Serbia in just under an hour’s time for the final meeting of the first matchday at this World Cup.
And you can follow that game live!
How Ghana almost nicked it
18:09 , Marc Mayo
A slip at the worst time for Inaki Williams.
A winning start for Portugal
18:05 , Marc Mayo
FULL TIME! Portugal 3-2 Ghana
17:58 , Marc Mayo
Surely the match of the tournament so far…
And it could have been 3-3! Williams slipped as he poached the ball off Costa right at the death. Wow.
17:57 , Marc Mayo
90+10 mins: Rahman’s cross from deep is well held by Costa.
Then the goalkeeper almost drops the ball with Williams behind him! Somehow Portugal escape a massive scramble!
17:56 , Marc Mayo
90+9 mins: Bukari tries to catch Costa out with a speculative effort that flashed over the bar. A bit of a nervy moment for Portugal.
Not long left now… but we’re in Ronaldo barking orders from the dugout territory!
How much added-on time will we get in added-on time?
17:54 , Marc Mayo
90+7 mins: Portugal win a free-kick off Amartey in the corner and can calm things right down.
17:53 , Marc Mayo
90+5 mins: Rafael Leao fails to make the most of a good opening, passing rather than shooting.
Ghana then trouble Costa with a long ball that ends in Fernandes taking a booking. A rather simple situation made all too difficult by Portugal.
17:50 , Marc Mayo
90+2 mins: Otto Addo’s last throw of the dice – Semenyo and Kyereh replace Djiku and Abdul Salem.
17:48 , Marc Mayo
90 mins: Right then, nine minutes added on.
Danilo and Williams booked for tangling.
GGGOOOOAAALLLL!!! Portugal 3-2 Ghana | Bukari
17:46 , Marc Mayo
89 mins: THEY COULDN’T, COULD THEY!?
Rahman does very well down the left and a good cross is headed home!
17:45 , Marc Mayo
88 mins: Ronaldo, Felix and Silva come off for Portugal.
Palhinha, Mario and Ramos are introduced to see out the game.
17:43 , Marc Mayo
85 mins: Portugal happy to sit back and let Ghana enjoy some fairly fruitless possession now.
17:40 , Marc Mayo
83 mins: Ronaldo darts in behind and Zigi produces a good stop just as the flag goes up.
GGGOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Portugal 3-1 Ghana | Leao
17:37 , Marc Mayo
79 mins: THAT SURELY IS THAT!
Fernandes races clear and rolls in Leao to his left, who places a neat effort past Zigi.
Portugal set for the three points!
GGGOOOOAAALLLL!! Portugal 2-1 Ghana | Felix
17:35 , Marc Mayo
78 mins: IS THAT THE WINNER?!
Rahman gets caught failing to intercept a ball forward and Felix steals in, deftly chipping the goalkeeper for 2-1!
17:34 , Marc Mayo
76 mins: Kudus’ fine race is run, Bukari replaces the midfielder.
Goalscorer Ayew is also off, handing the captain’s armband to Partey before coming off for brother Jordan Ayew.
Leao replaces Neves for Portugal.
17:33 , Marc Mayo
75 mins: That goal has shocked Portugal.
A fine bit of play from Ghana and they are only 15 minutes away from a real confidence-boosting point.
But can anyone find a winner?
GGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Portugal 1-1 Ghana | Ayew
17:30 , Marc Mayo
72 mins: ALL SQUARE!
Guess who? Kudus with the fine run down the left, a simple cut-back and Ayew buries it!
Ghana score Africa’s first goal at the 2022 World Cup.
17:29 , Marc Mayo
72 mins: Kudus almost catches Costa out!
Ghana’s star man today unleashes a fine hit from outside the box and the goalkeeper gathers it at the second attempt.
17:28 , Marc Mayo
70 mins: What a vital moment for Portugal in what was turning into a frustrating game.
Ronaldo winning the penalty and then scoring it, standing up to be counted for his country when needed most.
17:25 , Marc Mayo
67 mins: That was ANOTHER record for Ronaldo, who becomes the first player to score at five World Cups. Bravo.
Lamptey on for Seidu for Ghana.
GGGOOOOAAALLLLL!!!! Portugal 1-0 Ghana | Ronaldo
17:22 , Marc Mayo
64 mins: It’s Ronaldo vs Zigi…
A powerful penalty to the top corner as Ghana’s goalkeeper went the right way. Portugal lead!
17:21 , Marc Mayo
63 mins: Ghana’s players are LIVID as Salisu went hip-to-hip with Ronaldo but the striker went down.
Was there a leg in? VAR seem to be happy with it.
17:19 , Marc Mayo
62 mins: Ronaldo hits the deck! That looked soft…
17:18 , Marc Mayo
60 mins: Portugal are gifted the ball in the D but a lax pass from Silva sees Portugal go wanting again!
It’s just not landing for the Selecao and they aren’t doing themselves many favours.
17:15 , Marc Mayo
57 mins: Booking number three for Ghana as Seidu goes through the back of Felix.
Not the biggest of challenges and the Black Stars are unhappy, with a bit of a kerfuffle afterwards!
Ghana players are quick to pull the defender away after he goes head-to-head with Felix.
17:13 , Marc Mayo
55 mins: Ronaldo finds space down the left but cannot threaten the goalkeeper before Ghana break.
It’s that man Kudus looking threatening and he rifles a shot from 25 yards only just wide!
Otavio off for Carvalho.
17:11 , Marc Mayo
53 mins: Cancelo is mystified at how he hasn’t won a foul off Kudus on the edge of the box yet Ghana don’t care as they attack, Kudus winning a corner.
The Black Stars fans behind the goal raise their voices for Rahman’s delivery and Portugal do well to clear before Seidu slashes a long-range hit wide.
Ghana’s first shot!
17:09 , Marc Mayo
51 mins: Kudus does well to send Williams down the left but his backheel doesn’t come off.
No matter as Seidu gets possession and bombs down the right, a promising run that ends in an overhit cross and a foul.
17:06 , Marc Mayo
49 mins: Ghana take their second booking as Otavio spins Ayew and Partey before both men bring him down, with Ayew pinned for the card.
17:04 , Marc Mayo
46 mins: Otavio makes an early run down the left as he looks to add a little spark to Portugal’s game.
But that falls on deaf ears as a claim for a corner goes against the midfielder.
17:02 , Marc Mayo
No changes at the break for either side as Ghana get the ball rolling.
Portugal get their crystal ball out
17:00 , Marc Mayo
It may take more than that for a goal…
In two-and-a-half games at the World Cup today we’ve had ONE goal.
It’s the journalists blogging this all that I feel sorry for!
16:56 , Marc Mayo
Portugal have held 70 per cent of possession and boast seven shots to zero, two of which have been on target.
Ghana certainly the happier of the two teams
16:53 , Marc Mayo
The Black Stars will want to tidy up their play in possession and try to offer more in attack however, if they are to hold on for a valuable point.
Half time! Portugal 0-0 Ghana
16:47 , Marc Mayo
That is the break!
Portugal on top but, a couple of Ronaldo chances and a disallowed goal aside, they have failed to breach the Ghanaian defence.
16:45 , Marc Mayo
45 mins: Kudus is booked for fouling Cancelo and drawing a rather dramatic yelp from the full-back.
We will have two minutes of stoppage time.
16:44 , Marc Mayo
44 mins: That Kudus lad has a touch and a half. Some delightful dribbling brings Ghana out of trouble and wins a foul.
But, they give it away quickly and Cancelo’s dangerous cross evades everybody.
16:42 , Marc Mayo
42 mins: It would be the perfect time to score for Portugal and Ronaldo looks for a glimpse of goal down the left. Shot blocked.
Portugal come again and a big cross to the back post goes over the striker, who stops as Guerreiro fires a shot that simply bounces off Ronaldo!
Felix then commits a foul in the scramble to end the chance.
16:41 , Marc Mayo
40 mins: That was only a momentary interlude in Portugal’s domination of the game but a lack of cutting edge means we remain goalless as half-time beckons.
If this World Cup has taught us anything, it is to take your chances…
16:37 , Marc Mayo
38 mins: A first corner for Ghana is swung in by Kudus but Neves is there to clear.
Another ball in by the Ajax man has to be turned behind the goal by Fernandes. Ghana will come again… Foul.
16:36 , Marc Mayo
36 mins: Felix is unhappy about being sent to the deck as Portugal draw up another move, Otavio firing a low effort straight at the goalkeeper.
16:34 , Marc Mayo
33 mins: More lacklustre crossing from Portugal and Zigi collects a pretty aimless Otavio ball in.
The Selecao’s pressure is gently ramping up again.
16:31 , Marc Mayo
31 mins: Ronaldo bumps off his marker and places his shot home… but the referee’s whistle had gone for a foul!
Djiku did just about get elbowed out of the way there and it’s not enough of a soft decision to be overturned by VAR.
A bit of an escape for Ghana…
16:28 , Marc Mayo
28 mins: Ghana have certainly grown into the game but Portugal remain on top. Partey and Kudus have done a very decent job in taking the pressure off in possession.
Silva gets down the left and smartly cuts it back to Felix, who gets under his shot and skies it.
16:26 , Marc Mayo
26 mins: Ronaldo starting to drop deep and drag defenders away, allowing his teammates to run in behind.
Also known as Man City’s ‘Haaland tactic’ of deception. Let’s see if they can make it work.
16:24 , Marc Mayo
23 mins: The Ghana fans are having a great time behind Zigi’s goal, whistles and trumpets playing as they dance in the stands. Not enough dancing at this World Cup, I must say.
Here’s one of the two big Ronaldo chances from earlier:
16:22 , Marc Mayo
21 mins: Good battling from Salisu to hold off his man and win a Ghana throw, which came right in front of his dugout and earned a rapturous response.
The Black Stars are digging in admirably, even enjoying more time on the ball now with Kudus almost slipping Williams in behind.
16:19 , Marc Mayo
19 mins: Felix has the free role to run with the ball from deep while partnering Ronaldo up top.
Likewise, Silva and Fernandes are roaming in a bid to force an opening against this well-manned Ghana defence.
16:15 , Marc Mayo
15 mins: Very good play from Kudus, hustling the ball off Otavio before Ayew wins a free kick.
A chance for Ghana to build out their measly 27 per cent of possession now. The ball eventually finds Williams on the stretch, but the striker cannot bring it down to run at goal.
16:13 , Marc Mayo
13 mins: Portugal just creeping up the pitch and working moves in closer and closer areas to the box.
A nice one-touch move ends in Djiku clearing a good low cross.
The corner is taken quickly and a looping ball to the back post looks Ronaldo bound… WIDE! You would have backed him to score there…
16:10 , Marc Mayo
10 mins: Kudus gives it away and Ronaldo is slipped in for a one-on-one.
His touch is far from perfect though and Zigi comes out well to smother his shot, the ball eventually going out for a goal kick.
16:09 , Marc Mayo
9 mins: Ghana’s pressing game on Portugal’s centre-backs looks to have some promise, Ayew forcing Danilo into lumping clear from his box.
A first chance for Kudus to get down the right flank sees him lump a hopeful cross into Williams, which Costa nabs.
16:07 , Marc Mayo
6 mins: Felix runs in behind and nutmegs Amartey before Partey puts a good foot in.
Neves then nicks the ball back after Ghana try and pass it out a bit too much, slamming a shot into a defender.
16:05 , Marc Mayo
4 mins: The full-backs are very high in possession for Portugal and Cancelo puts a first cross in from the left but cannot steer it into the box, and a corner is given.
Guerreiro’s ball in lands to Otavio on the edge of the box and he drags a shot well wide.
16:02 , Marc Mayo
2 mins: Ghana as expected start with a flat back fine, Ayew joining Williams in pressing from the front.
The first pass into Ronaldo sees him trip Reading left-back Rahman to concede a free-kick.
16:00 , Marc Mayo
After Ronaldo and Ayew oversee the coin toss, with referee Ismail Elfath of MLS we kick off!
PS. Apology to the historians following us, as of course the 1400s was Portugal’s golden age of exploration. Anyway, on with the game…
The national anthems play out
15:56 , Marc Mayo
Something about ‘A Portuguesa’ just makes me want to hop on a boat in the 1600s and go exploring the Atlantic.
‘God Bless Our Homeland Ghana’ follows.
Here come the players!
15:53 , Marc Mayo
It’s time for the third game of the day as Portugal and Ghana get their World Cup campaigns underway.
Cristiano Ronaldo leads out the Selecao ahead of playing in his fifth World Cup – a very exclusive club of only five other players,
The atmosphere is building!
15:48 , Marc Mayo
Some great fans in the stadium ready for this one.
Portugal and Ghana’s last meeting
15:44 , Marc Mayo
In fact, their only meeting came at the 2014 World Cup group stage as Cristiano Ronaldo hit his 50th national goal to win the game late on.
Not a huge celebration though, as both teams were knocked out with the result!
Ghana out to represent Africa
15:38 , Marc Mayo
Even with a couple of promising draws to their name, the four African teams to have played before Ghana at this World Cup are yet to score…
Will that change this evening?
15:32 , Marc Mayo
We’re just half an hour away from kick-off in Doha!
Why is it called Stadium 974?
15:27 , Marc Mayo
With 974 recycled shipping containers making up its construction, today’s venue is said to be the first reusable World Cup stadium.
That means there are plans to take it down and build it back up again in Uruguay if they win their bid to host the 2030 tournament.
Furthermore, 974 is Qatar’s international dialling code. The more you know!
All eyes on No7 for Portugal
15:22 , Marc Mayo
Portugal boss Fernando Santos has insisted that the saga surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s club future will not impact his team at the World Cup.
“It hasn’t even been discussed,” said Santos.
“The conversation hasn’t come up at any moment. If the players are talking about that in their rooms alone, I can’t say.
“They can do what they want, but the important thing is that they are absolutely focused and realistic about the challenges they are facing.”
Read the full story!
Get to know… Ghana
15:16 , Marc Mayo
The Black Stars were the underdogs as they knocked out Nigeria in qualification, so what can they achieve in Qatar?
Read up on Ghana with our World Cup guide!
All over in the other Group H game
15:10 , Marc Mayo
It’s a 0-0 draw between Uruguay and South Korea.
That surely suits both Ghana and Portugal, with those two tipped to fight it out for second place in this group.
A famous face drops by the Ghana camp
15:05 , Marc Mayo
Sulley Muntari paid Ghana a visit ahead of facing Portugal.
Now 38 and playing back in Accra, the midfielder featured at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Five at the back for Ghana
15:00 , Marc Mayo
A defensive approach from Otto Addo this evening as Alidu Seidu, Alexander Djiku and Mohammed Salisu line up in a back five.
Jordan Ayew is forced to settle for a place on the bench as Andre Ayew and Inaki Williams start up front.
Ronaldo in from the start
14:54 , Marc Mayo
No surprises to see Cristiano Ronaldo head the starting XI for Portugal.
Bruno Fernandes joins his old Manchester United teammate in he line-up which also includes Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva in a 4-2-3-1.
Your Ghana line-up today
14:48 , Marc Mayo
Ghana XI: Zigi; Amartey, Seidu, Djiku, Salisu, Rahman; Abdul Samed, Partey, Kudus; Williams, A. Ayew.
How Portugal line up
14:45 , Marc Mayo
Portugal XI: Costa; Cancelo, Danilo, Dias, Guerreiro; Neves, Otavio; Silva, Fernandes, Felix; Cristiano Ronaldo.
Get to know… Portugal
14:37 , Marc Mayo
A long-serving head coach, Rafael Leao out to make his mark and some Ronaldo bloke.
Read up on Portugal with our full World Cup guide!
Still no winner in the other Group H game…
14:32 , Marc Mayo
Uruguay and South Korea seeing out this 0-0 draw will certainly suit both Portugal and Ghana.
Just 15 minutes left in that one!
The fans are starting to gather in Doha
14:29 , Marc Mayo
The supporters have brought so much colour to this World Cup, let’s hope both teams are well backed today.
Loving Ghana’s social media coverage
14:26 , Marc Mayo
Every aspect of the Black Stars’ journey is being covered!
Total calmness inside that team bus.
Inside the Portuguese dressing room
14:21 , Marc Mayo
Immaculately laid out inside Stadium 974 for the Selecao.
The Black Stars head to the stadium
14:17 , Marc Mayo
All smiles for Thomas Partey and Co this afternoon.
Team news coming up!
14:12 , Marc Mayo
Here’s how we expect the teams to line up…
Predicted Portugal XI (4-3-3): Costa; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Neves, Carvalho, Fernandes; B. Silva, Ronaldo, Leao.
Predicted Ghana XI (4-2-3-1): Ati Zigi; Lamptey, Amartey, Salisu, Baba; Partey, Abdul Samed; A.Ayew, Kudus, J. Ayew; Williams.
14:07 , Marc Mayo
Portugal to win: 1/3
Ghana to win: 17/2
Elsewhere in Group H
14:02 , Marc Mayo
Uruguay and South Korea are Portugal and Ghana’s opponents at the World Cup.
It’s 0-0 in their game, which is just kicking off for the second half.
And you can follow that game live!
13:57 , Marc Mayo
These teams have only met once before – and it also came in the World Cup group stage!
Portugal won 2-1 thanks to a late Cristiano Ronaldo goal in Brasilia.
Evening Standard score prediction
13:51 , Marc Mayo
Talented as they may be, Portugal have been abject of late. For that reason, it would not be a surprise to see Ghana take a point.
A 1-1 draw.
Early Ghana team news
13:46 , Marc Mayo
Jojo Wollacott would be Ghana’s goalkeeper at the World Cup, but for a late injury to the Charlton star.
Tariq Lamptey and Mohamed Salisu should start as two of a few English football representatives in their squad.
Expect Inaki Williams to start up top with Arsenal’s Thomas Partey controlling the midfield.
Early Portugal team news
13:41 , Marc Mayo
Diogo Jota is the big absentee from Portugal’s World Cup squad, plus Wolves winger Pedro Neto.
Fernando Santos has plenty of attacking options nevertheless, with Cristiano Ronaldo due to start up top.
How to watch
13:36 , Marc Mayo
TV channel: The game will be broadcast live free-to-air on ITV1, with coverage starting at 3pm.
Live stream: The ITV Hub will offer a free live stream online.
Hello and welcome!
13:31 , Marc Mayo
Game three of today’s World Cup feast pits Portugal and Ghana against each other.
The last teams to get their tournament underway are in action this evening, and this game from Stadium 974 kicks off at 4pm GMT.
Follow us for all the build-up, match action and reaction!