Ronaldo courageous but proved nothing to Man Utd as Portugal win
Portugal V Ghana In Pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty for Portugal against Ghana on Thursday night – but still didn’t prove a point to Manchester United. The veteran became the first man to score in five different World Cups with his spot-kick at Stadium 974, with Joao Felix and Rafael Leao also netting. Express Sport will now take a look at four things we learned from the showdown.
Ronaldo’s courage was unrivalled
The penalty certainly looked controversial, causing plenty of muttering at the media centre in Doha after it was given.
And given everything that’s happened with Ronaldo over the past few weeks, he could have easily been forgiven for fearing the headlines had he stepped up and missed.
He even looked nervous as he stepped up to take it, closing his eyes and exhaling as if he knew the eyes of the world were watching him in judgement.
So Ronaldo deserves credit for converting his penalty, regardless of how soft it was.
He has now made history and it’s unlikely long-term rival Lionel Messi will ever be able to break his record, especially with the Argentina international also at the twilight stages of his career.
Ronaldo proved nothing
While Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot, it was still a performance that proved nothing to Manchester United.
He felt he should have been starting for the Red Devils, even though Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have both scored more goals than him so far this season.
But Ronaldo, while he looked bright and threatening at times, didn’t do enough to suggest the Red Devils have made a mistake by letting him go.
Of course, he scored his penalty. But Bruno Fernandes, Rashford and Martial are all capable of doing it at Old Trafford – and there are suspicions he potentially dived to earn it.
There will be few in United who watched the game believing they’d benefit from still having the 37-year-old in their side.
Joao Felix takes his chance
This was always going to be a big night for Felix.
The Atletico Madrid star feels stifled playing under Diego Simeone in La Liga, making it clear he’s unhappy amid links to United this winter.
But Felix made his mark on the grandest stage by producing the goods and announcing himself to the world.
It was Bruno Fernandes who played a simple ball through, with the current United star finally delivering for his country after previously blowing hot and cold.
Felix clearly has a bright future ahead and a move away from Atletico could do him some good.
VAR is a shambles
Of course, you probably knew this was coming. Good old VAR…or bad old VAR.
There have already been some dubious decisions at this World Cup and Ronaldo being granted his penalty in the second half will certainly be a talking point in the coming days.
Just because Ayew proceeded to level for Ghana doesn’t mean it should be swept under the rug.
They had, before the incident, been ticking along nicely. Certainly, there was no real danger of them falling behind.
They deserved a point, without a doubt. Without the penalty, they would likely have got one.
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