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Ghana Black Stars’ heart not large enough



Group H – Portugal v Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha, Qatar – November 24, 2022 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo scores their first goal from the penalty spot REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini
The 974 Stadium, Doha, State of Qatar

Ghana left it too late in an attempt to get over stiff opposition presented by Portugal as both teams battled to a 3-2 win for the European side in the Group H tie played before 42, 662 spectators at the 974 Stadium.

Ghana did nothing in the first half apart from defend deeply but gave their noisy bank of fans  something to cheer when Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute.

Portugal who did most of the playing had shot ahead in the 65th minute through a penalty converted by Skipper Cristiano Ronaldo.

But as the game progressed, the Ghanaian side lacking in self-belief could not build on the momentum of the equaliser.

Barely five minutes after getting the equaliser, they went into deficit as Joao Felix restored Portugal’s lead.

Bruno Fernandes then showed his class with a jinking run before sliding a pass to Rafael Leao to leave Ghana stunned at 3-1.


Almost at the dot of regulation time, Osman Bukari’s point-blank header made the result a more respectable one at 3-2. Even then, Ghana did little to press for possible equaliser.

They thus left no African side with a win after the five teams had played a match each.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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