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World Cup Match Ratings | Iñaki Williams struggles on Ghana World Cup debut

Portugal overcame a slow and uninspired first-half display against an often stoic Ghana to run out comfortable winners in their World Cup opener. Aside from two early openings squandered by Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Santos’ team created little in the first hour as the Black Stars defended neatly. However, a questionable penalty and some tired Ghanaian defenders eventually lead to a fortunate win, despite Andre Ayew briefly equalising and Osman Bukari’s late header which briefly put Portugal under pressure in nine minutes of injury time.

Key Performers:
Iñaki Williams, 3 – On his major tournament debut the Bilbao man was badly isolated for long periods of the game and saw little service from a penned-in Ghana midfield. However, the striker nearly duped Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa deep into injury time, only to slip at the crucial moment.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 – Won a very soft penalty, that would likely have been overturned by VAR had the referee been asked to reassess, before firing home from the spot to become the first players to score in five World Cups. However, he also missed two clear chances before the break and offered little else besides.

Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Party to some frustratingly ponderous build-up play before halftime but pounced on two chances via a pair of snappy counters to assist the second and third goals. The first was fortunate to slip by Salisu but the second was a deftly weighted ball for Leão. Only just worth a 7.

João Cancelo, 2 – Offered little in a lazy attacking display, especially in a lacklustre first-half display from Portugal, before being arguably at fault for both Ghana goals. Firstly by Ghana exploiting the space behind him for Kudus to cross for Ayew and then by being too easily outmuscled for Rahman to cross for Bukari’s header.

PORTUGAL – 0
Diogo Costa, 4
João Cancelo, 2
Rúben Dias, 5
Danilo Pereira, 3
Raphaël Guerreiro, 5
Rúben Neves, 5
Otávio, 4
Bruno Fernandes, 7
Bernardo Silva, 4
João Félix, 6
Cristiano Ronaldo, 4
Others: Carvalho 5, Rafael Leão 6.

GHANA – 0
Lawrence Ati-Zigi, 5
Daniel Amartey, 5
Alexander Djiku, 5
Mohammed Salisu, 4
Alidu Seidu, 4
Baba Rahman, 5
Mohammed Kudus, 7
Salis Abdul Samed, 5
Thomas Partey, 4
André Ayew, 5
Iñaki Williams, 3
Others: J. Ayew 4, Bukari 6, Lamptey 5.

World Cup 2022, Group H, 24/11/22

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