Cristiano Ronaldo entered the history of the World Cups through the front door. He became the first player of all time to score in five different World Cups. However, the achievement is marred by form: a rigorous penalty that, in any other context, would have been a routine play.
It was not the case. Cristiano’s image prevailed over any logic and the VAR was conspicuous by its absence: Ronaldo’s fall did not even warrant a review in the cabin. He scored a penalty and that’s it. The anger of the Ghanaians was evident and, in a way, justifiable. Up to then they had played a perfect defensive game. When the night began to worsen for the Portuguese, the door opened to make way for an anthological match, one of those that have made the World Cup the stellar tournament on a global level.
And did not spare the star. In his specialty, Cristiano Ronaldo shot goalkeeper Zigi. It seemed that, once again, everything was heading for a comfortable night for Cristiano and his team. They were back on their laurels, with the first three points almost in the bag. In the first half they had suffered in a big way to open up the Ghanaian defense. They did not move the ball fast or combine with ease. The entire constellation of stars was unable to exert their talent accurately. Bruno, Bernardo, Felix, Cristiano. They could not.
But the penalty did not lower the spirit of the Africans. Kudus, who was a figure throughout the game, served an immaculate ball for André Ayew to define and equalize the match. Justice, which is almost always lacking in matches at this level, was present and football appreciated it like never before. The Portuguese believed themselves invincible after the gift. And Ghana was not intimidated by the might. If they had to react to the blow, they did so immediately. But their innocences sank them instantly.
The match broke up. There was no turning back. Joao Félix, called to glory for a long time, finally validated his label as a young prodigy. Hand in hand, he defined with the frozen blood of the different players. And immediately Rafael Leão, the jewel of Milan, appeared to take advantage of another loss in the Ghanaian start and seal a deceptive but indisputable 3-1 in terms of efficiency.
An inattention by Cancelo, whose performance was insufficient throughout the match, led to a goal by Osman Bukari that he headed in, without a mark, to open the beginning of a dramatic ending. He celebrated it CR7 style (and the aforementioned looked at him with contempt from the bench). The Portuguese dedicated themselves to guarding the advantage, while a desperate Ghana did everything to approach the area guarded by Costa.
Bruno Fernández urged his teammates to have the ball and not to look for another goal. They needed calm and the most sober in the goal binge was him, who had become the soul of the team with Cristiano on the bench. Ghana tried but his creative and physical energies had come to an end in one fabled night. They will have to risk their lives against South Korea in a match that will be anything but predictable.
There were plagiarisms, an unusual penalty, two slaps to the world of two jewels and a heart attack ending. The World Cup no longer looks good. This is for what is expected four years. And it’s worth every second. Portugal now goes for Uruguay, their executioner in Russia 2018. With the first scorer in five World Cups in history (and that record cannot be broken by Messi, who went blank in 2010), today they feel capable of anything.