Cristiano Ronaldo has created some seismic World Cup history on Thursday.
The currently unattached striker netted from the penalty spot to give Portugal a lead over Ghana.
And with that Ronaldo has become the first ever men’s player to score in five different World Cups.
A truly stunning feat that wasn’t achieved by the likes of Diego Maradona, Pele or Gerd Muller.
He is the third player ever to achieve the feat, with Chrstine Sinclair and Marta doing so at the Women’s World Cup.
Sorry to borrow an overused cliche, but Portugal 3-2 Ghana truly was a game of two halves.
In the opening 45 minutes of play at Qatar’s temporary stadium (named Stadium 974) on Thursday, the action was of the lowest quality possible.
There was barely a shot on goal and as such, fans were deeply concerned that another 0-0 draw at the 2022 World Cup was unfolding in front of their eyes.
But the second half really was entertainment of the highest order – and for that we’re so, so thankful.
Just after the hour mark, Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot, becoming the first ever player to bag a goal at five World Cup tournaments in the process.
It was a very controversial call by the referee, though, with Ronaldo appearing to dive to earn the opportunity from 12 yards.
After the record-setting goal by Ronaldo, Ghana drew level through Andre Ayew.
Portugal then took the game by the scruff of the neck. Fernando Santos’ side stormed into a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao.
Ghana made things nervy by halving the deficit through Osman Bukari and the African nation had a chance right at the end to make it 3-3.
And the scoring opportunity that fell to Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams came under the most dramatic of circumstances.
The Ghana striker hid behind Portugal’s Diogo Costa and as soon as the goalkeeper put the ball on the ground, he tried to take the cheekiest of chances to score.
Sadly for Williams, he slipped at the vital moment, sparing Costa’s blushes.
Check out the quite incredible moment, which wouldn’t go amiss in a football-themed comedy flick…
My word. Costa needs to contact the makers of Williams’ studs, because they’ve saved him from true World Cup humiliation!
Ronaldo’s reaction from the Portugal bench perfectly summed up the chaotic sequence of events in the 10th minute of stoppage-time.
But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Costa and the rest of the squad can now breathe easy after securing a precious 3-2 victory against Ghana in their World Cup opener.
The Portugal team will now switch focus to the match against Uruguay next Monday, which could be an equally tasty game.