World Cup round-up: Portugal survives 5-goal thriller; Richarlison wonder strike sends Brazil top

November 25, 2022 - 14:40
Ronaldo confidently took the penalty to put Portugal ahead, becoming the first male player to score in five consecutive World Cups, a run that goes all the way back to Germany 2006.
Richarlison settled the score for Brazil with a stunning volley against Serbia on Thursday. — AFP/VNA Photo

Anh Đức

HÀ NỘI — Football fans who watched the fifth matchday of the 2022 FIFA World Cup were treated to one of the best games of the tournament so far, as well as one of the best goals.

Ronaldo scores for record-breaking fifth consecutive World Cup

Ronaldo, doing his iconic 'Siu' celebration past a poster of rival Lionel Messi after scoring the opener. — AFP/VNA Photo

After his eternal rival Lionel Messi and Argentina lost their opening game 2-1 to the Saudis, Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh off a controversial exit from Manchester United, stepped onto the pitch against Ghana to start what will probably be his last World Cup.

The match went tit-for-tat until the 61st minute. Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix backheeled for Ronaldo, who was through on goal. However, Mohammed Salisu brought down the Portuguese captain inside the box and referee Ismail Elfath quickly pointed to the spot.

Ronaldo confidently took the penalty to put Portugal ahead, becoming the first male player to score in five consecutive World Cups, a run that goes all the way back to Germany 2006.

Only 10 minutes later though, Ghana equalised. The Man City duo of Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias were caught napping on a Ghanaian counter, and Andre Ayew capitalised with a tap-in.

Portugal immediately replied when Bruno Fernandes found Joao Felix free inside the box. Felix had a crack at goal and brought Portugal in front again.

Two minutes later, Fernandes again found Rafael Leao on the left wing, who scored on his first touch.

Ghana did not give up. A dismal Cancelo let Inaki Williams through, who crossed for Osman Bukari to head in and make it 2-3.

The Black Stars could have equalised in the dying seconds, when Inaki Williams went behind Diogo Costa and tried a cheeky attempt to steal the ball from the keeper. Williams slipped, and Ronaldo and co breathed a sigh of relief.

With this victory, Portugal topped Group H, but know they have a lot to improve.

Brilliant Richarlison's brace sends Brazil wild

The number one ranked team in the world started their World Cup campaign against a 'Golden Generation' Serbian side.

The match was a tactical clash; Brazil started with four strikers, while Serbia parked the bus.

The Serbian defence worked well in the first half but capitulated in the second.

In the 62nd minute, Neymar dribbled past multiple defenders, passing to Vinicius Junior, who fired a shot at the far corner. Vanja Milinkovic-Savic made a save but couldn't stop Richarlison from scoring on the rebound.

Eleven minutes later, all hope was lost for Serbia when Richarlison scored with a Puskas award-worthy bicycle kick to make it 2-0 for Brazil.

Elsewhere in Group G, in the match between Switzerland and Cameroon, Breel Embolo scored the only goal, putting the Swiss to second place. Cameroonian-born Embolo did not celebrate his goal.

South Korea continue Asia's upset streak

Darwin Nunez (right) was troubled all night by the tough South Korean defenders. — AFP/VNA Photo

Son Heung-min's South Korea were saved twice by the bar during their clash with South American giants Uruguay.

Darwin Nunez and his teammates did not dominate the match; however, La Celeste had reasons to be disappointed with the goalless draw.

The Taeguk Warriors went all-out attack and surprised Uruguay in the first few minutes, however, Uruguay were calm and collected and dispelled Son and his teammates' efforts.

La Celeste had their first chance in the 44th minute when Diego Godin, in his fourth World Cup, beat Kim Seung-gyu, but the ball hit the bottom of the post.

South Korea stuck to their style of play, but fatigue kicked in, and Uruguay slowly got the game back. In the 90th minute, Federico Valverde had a shot from 30 metres, but the ball hit the crossbar.

The match ended 0-0.

With this result, South Korea and Uruguay share second place, with Nunez and company meeting Ronaldo's Portugal on Monday, while South Korea face off against Ghana. — VNS