CR7 makes history in Portugal victory, false start for Uruguay, emotional winner as Swiss down Cameroon

CR7 makes history in Portugal victory, false start for Uruguay, emotional winner as Swiss down Cameroon

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups after netting a penalty in Portugal’s opening Group H game against Ghana.

All eyes were on Ronaldo on Thursday following his departure from Manchester United this week and never more so than when he stepped up to take a penalty in the 64th minute after being tripped in the box.

After taking a few deep breaths, Ronaldo confidently beat Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi to make history. Until then he had been tied on scoring at four World Cups alongside Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.

The penalty broke the deadlock after a tight first half and from then on the goals continued to flow as the error count grew.

CR7 makes history in Portugal victory, false start for Uruguay, emotional winner as Swiss down Cameroon

(Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

Andre Ayew levelled in the 73rd minute – the first goal scored by an African side at Qatar 2022 – when he finished off a fine run down the left by Mohammad Kudus.

But Portugal re-took the lead four minutes later when a superb pass from Bruno Fernandes split the Ghana defence and Joao Felix cleverly clipped the ball over the goalkeeper.

Two minutes later Portugal substitute Rafael Leao curled in Portugal’s third.

Ronaldo received a huge ovation when he was replaced but he had barely sat down when Ghana made it 3-2, substitute Osman Bukari taking advantage of some lax marking to head in.

In the nine minutes of added time that followed, Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa failed to see Ghana striker Inaki Williams behind hime when he released the ball inside the box.

But Williams slipped at the crucial moment and Danilo Pereira cleared the ball off the line.

So Portugal survived to move top of Group H and win their opening World Cup match for the first time since 2006.
with agencies

Korea hold Uruguay to scoreless draw

Uruguay struck the post and crossbar but generally failed to impress as they played out the fourth goalless draw of this year’s World Cup against South Korea.

Thursday’s 0-0 draw probably favours the Asian team, who worked hard at the Education City Stadium against their more fancied opponents.

South Korea, with forward Son Heung-min wearing a mask to protect a broken left eye socket, always looked capable of scoring against the more experienced Uruguayans. 

The South Koreans were quicker, pressing from the opening whistle.

Some South Korean fans wore Batman-like masks in solidarity with Son.

However, in a match with few clear scoring chances, Uruguay had the clearest chances: Diego Godin hit the post with a header from a corner in the 43rd minute and Federico Valverde hit it in the 89th.

Uruguay will next face Portugal in Group H while South Korea plays Ghana.

South Korea attacked from the start and Son excited the crowd every time he touched the ball. He managed only one threatening attack in the first half, however, and did less in the second.

South Korea always looked quicker than Uruguay, but not necessarily the more dangerous. The team’s best chance came in the 34th minute when Hwang Ui-jo blazed a close-range attempt over the crossbar.

As the half wore on, Uruguay began to take more possession but always seemed more cautious, taking less initiative despite having the more experienced players.

Son went down in a heap early in the second half with Martin Caceres getting the first yellow card of the match.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso sent in Edinson Cavani for Luis Suarez in 64th minute as the pace of the match slowed until Real Madrid’s Valverde hit the post from outside the box in the final minutes.

Embolo doesn’t celebrate as 48th-minute goal enough for Switzerland

Breel Embolo’s goal has lifted Switzerland to a 1-0 win over Cameroon at the World Cup and he kept his promise not to celebrate scoring against the country where he was born.

The Swiss forward from Yaounde struck with a right-foot shot in the 48th minute of Thursday’s match, standing all alone eight metres out in the middle of the goalmouth to take Xherdan Shaqiri’s low pass.

CR7 makes history in Portugal victory, false start for Uruguay, emotional winner as Swiss down Cameroon

(Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Embolo then pursed his lips in a wry smile and held his arms out wide, before raising his hands in a gesture of apology as teammates rushed to him near the penalty spot.

He pointed toward Swiss fans behind the goal where he had scored then to Cameroon fans at the opposite corner of Al Janoub stadium.

The 25-year-old forward left Cameroon with his family when he was five. They spent time in France before settling in Switzerland, the country he is now representing at a second World Cup.

The Indomitable Lions, who eliminated Algeria in a playoff to qualify for the tournament, had outplayed the Swiss in the first 45 minutes with quick combinations, speed and power as their opponents remained toothless up front.

They carved out their first chance after 10 minutes with Bryan Mbeumo testing goalkeeper Yann Sommer before Karl Toko Ekambi sent his rebound over the bar.

The Swiss were in trouble again a little later with in-form forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting snatching the ball from an opponent to charge into the box only for Sommer to block his effort.

In search of their first win at a World Cup in 20 years, Cameroon were bolder, taking on their opponents in one-on-one situations, while the Swiss rarely managed to get into their opponents’ box.

Switzerland, who reached the round of 16 in the two previous World Cups, struck at the start of the second half with Shaqiri cutting into the box and Embolo tapping in what proved to be the winner.

An almost identical move just past the hour almost saw the Swiss score again but Ruben Vargas’s shot was pushed wide by keeper Andre Onana who kept his team in the game.

Cameroon’s streak of losses at World Cup finals tournaments extended to eight games dating back to 2002.

The Swiss next play Brazil on Monday with Cameroon taking on Serbia.


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