Goal Gazette

Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo Scores | Portugal 1-0 Ghana

Cristiano Ronaldo, appearing in his fifth World Cup, will spearhead Portugal’s attack against Ghana alongside Joao Felix in their opening Group H match on Thursday. Ronaldo left Manchester United this week in an acrimonious split after he said he felt betrayed by the club, but his coach and team mates have said the upheaval was having no impact on Portugal’s preparations for their campaign in Qatar.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos partnered Ronaldo with Atletico Madrid’s Felix in attack while Danilo Pereira joined Ruben Dias in the centre of defence. In midfield, Santos chose an attacking formation with only Ruben Neves as an anchor. Ghana manager Otto Addo went for three central defenders in a bid to thwart Portugal and entrusted former Spain international Inaki Williams to lead his attack.

Uruguay defender Diego Godin and midfielder Federico Valverde both hit the woodwork as the South Americans were held to a 0-0 draw by South Korea in their opening World Cup Group H game on Thursday. Wearing a black mask to protect a facial fracture, Son Heung-min started for the South Koreans, yet it was team mate Hwang Ui-jo who came closest to breaking the deadlock, but he scooped his shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

The best chance of a pulsating first half fell to Uruguay captain Godin, whose glancing header from a corner hit the foot of the left-hand post just before the break. Valverde fired a stinging shot in the final minute of regulation time that hit the top of the post as the two sides battled to a stalemate in front of a crowd of 41,663, with group rivals Portugal set to meet Ghana later in the evening.

Portugal are in control of the ball from the start, with hardly any touch from Ghana players yet. But most of the action is happening in the Portugal half.

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