Nov 24, 2022
Portugal 0-0 Ghana LIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo lets TWO early opportunities pass him by as ex-Man United forward looks to put Old Trafford misery behind him in World Cup opener against Black Stars
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Follow Sportsmail's live blog for the World Cup Group H clash between Portugal and Ghana.
- Oliver Salt
After some neat interplay between Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix, Ghana clear behind for a Portugal corner.
Portugal take it quickly and pick out Ronaldo at the back post, who turns his head at the last minute and squanders another great opportunity.
He could have had two already here!
Big chance for Ronaldo!
Kudus loses the ball cheaply again deep in Ghana's half, before the Portugal captain is released through on goal.
But after a heavy touch, the ball runs away from him and Lawrence Ati-Zigi gets down to make an important interception, meaning the chance goes begging.
Ghana embark on their first sprint into the final third, before Kudus' cross flies straight into the hands of Diogo Costa.
Ruben Neves dispossesses Mohammed Kudus on the edge of the box and tries to unleash a shot at goal, only for Ghana's defenders to pull their team-mate out of trouble and make the block.
As expected, Portugal are dominating the ball early on here. That could be a familiar theme this evening.
Instead of the 3-4-3 we thought it would be earlier, Ghana appear to have lined up with two strikers here in Doha. Andre Ayew and Inaki Williams are leading the line.
Otto Addo has packed his backline with five defenders, however, meaning this could be a tricky night for Portugal to carve out chances.
Ronaldo's first touch of the ball draws a huge cheer from the crowd, but the former Man United star's first involvement sees him concede a free-kick.
The referee blows his whistle and Portugal vs Ghana is underway!
The Portugal national anthem is underway and Ronaldo is fighting back the tears!
It's clearly an emotional moment for the 37-year-old.
Ronaldo looked emotional ahead of his fifth World Cup ???? pic.twitter.com/R5OucDniek— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 24, 2022
Here's your 10-minute warning! It's almost time for Portugal vs Ghana.
Both teams have carried out their pre-match warm-ups and kick-off is on the horizon.
Not long now!
Graeme Souness certainly believes Portugal have the quality to go far in the tournament, waxing lyrical about the talent at Fernando Santos' disposal while on ITV duty.
'Portugal have always produced good footballers,' Souness said. 'But it would seem in the last decade or so they have produced a hell of a lot of good footballers. That is a particularly strong squad.
'Given it is a population of 10 million people they have really overperformed. It is strange the manager chooses to play in the way that he does, but you can’t criticise him because they have been successful. It is a pragmatic approach with flair players.'
So far today we've only been treated to one goal in 180 minutes of World Cup football.
Breel Embolo's winner for Switzerland against Cameroon is the only strike of Thursday's action. No pressure Portugal and Ghana...
We saw 11 goals fly in over the course of Wednesday's games, so let's hope for an end-to-end affair here!
Here is the man himself!
Ronaldo is out on the pitch preparing for Portugal's World Cup opener here in Doha.
Former Man United midfielder Roy Keane is in the ITV studio today, and he's hoping to see Ronaldo fire back at his critics after the fall-out at Old Trafford.
'I am looking forward to seeing him play,' Keane said. 'It will settle down now. He has done his talking with a couple of interviews. He has to do his talking on the pitch.
'I hope he performs on the pitch and I believe he will. He can shut a few idiots up who have been criticising him. I am lucky to have played with him and am glad to be watching him tonight.'
The first set of fans have entered Stadium 974 with not long to go before their beloved countries battle it out!
There's over 45 minutes until kick-off...
Here's a sneak peek inside the Ghana team bus, where Otto Addo's men chilling out before the big game by belting out a few more songs.
COME ON #BlackStars ! ????#BlackStars | #FIFAWorldCup | #TeamGhana | #Qatar2022 pic.twitter.com/kuBDs2tPq1— ???????? Black Stars (@GhanaBlackstars) November 24, 2022
Portugal are in the house!
Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva can be seen rocking up at Stadium 974 as they gear up for today's showdown with Ghana.
And this is how Ghana will be lining up at Stadium 974 today.
There is no Tariq Lamptey or Jordan Ayew, who both drop to the bench, with Alidu Seidu preferred at right wing-back in what appears to be a 3-5-2 setup.
Ghana line-up (3-4-3): Ati-Zigi; Djiku, Amartey, Salisu; Seidu, Abdul Samed, Partey, Rahman; Kudus, Williams, A. Ayew (C)
Here's the starting XI for Portugal this afternoon, with Ronaldo captaining his country once more out in Doha.
Portugal line-up (4-3-3): Costa; Cancelo, Dias, Pereira, Guerreiro; Neves, Otavio, Fernandes; Felix, Silva, Ronaldo (C)
Of course, Ronaldo heads into the winter World Cup in somewhat of a unique position as the highest-profile free agent at the tournament.
That is because the five-time Ballon d'Or winner left Manchester United by mutual consent with immediate effect on Tuesday following his explosive tell-all interview with Piers Morgan.
In case you missed it - which would probably mean you've been living under a rock this week - you can read more on Ronaldo's bitter United exit from Sportsmail below:Man United announce Ronaldo has LEFT the club by mutual consent EXCLUSIVE BY CHRIS WHEELER: United's lawyers have been looking to tear up his contract since Ronaldo's explosive interview with Piers Morgan aired in two parts last week. Mail Online
By his own admission, this year's tournament in Qatar will likely represent Cristiano Ronaldo's last chance to win the World Cup.
The 37-year-old has already cemented his legacy as an all-time great by scoring 818 goals in 1,140 games while winning five Champions Leagues, seven top-tier titles across England, Italy and Spain, and the European Championship for his country.
He has also collected five Ballon d'Or awards, with only arch-rival Lionel Messi picking up more (7).
The only honour missing from Ronaldo's legendary CV is the World Cup, which has so far eluded him in four attempts.
RONALDO'S WORLD CUP RECORD
Ronaldo has scored seven goals in FIFA's leading international competition, the first of which came in a 2-0 win over Iran at the 2006 tournament.
He also scored goals against North Korea and Ghana at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups respectively, however it was back in 2018 when Ronaldo shone brightest.
Out in Russia, he fired home a sensational hat-trick in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Spain, before getting on the scoresheet again in a 1-0 win over Morocco.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo has only made it as far as the semi-finals with Portugal at the World Cup, where they were beaten by France in 2006.
He will be hoping to add to his tally and lift the trophy for the very first time next month, which would be the cherry on top of a historic cake.
They may not be singing and dancing, but Portugal stars look equally relaxed ahead of their opening World Cup match later this afternoon.
Energia ???? Positiva com a ????????????????́???????????? como objetivo! ⚡ #VesteABandeira #FIFAWorldCup
Good ???? Vibes and focus on ????????????????????????????! ⚡ Lets GO, Portugal! #WearTheFlag pic.twitter.com/KudCrQCKyi
Now here's the view from inside the dressing rooms, where both sets of kits are already in place just under two hours before kick-off.
Here's a first glimpse inside Stadium 974 ahead of tonight's game.
Kick-off is just over two hours away...
At the end of their final training session last night Ghana players could be seen singing, dancing and playing the drums ahead of today's crunch clash with Portugal.
They don't look like a squad that's feeling the pressure!
How are you feeling ahead of tonight’s game? ????#BlackStars | #TeamGhana | #Qatar2022 pic.twitter.com/seLXh3OhF2— ???????? Black Stars (@GhanaBlackstars) November 24, 2022
Sportsmail has put together a World Cup predictor for fans to work out who they believe will prevail in the final on December 18.
To have a go at it yourself, click on the link below...MailSport presents the World Cup Pick'Em predictor game As fans across the world pick their favourites, dark horses and surprise packages among the minnows, SofaScore has raised the stakes in the pre-tournament discussion with a free predictor game. Mail Online
Unlike their opponents, Ghana enjoyed a more straightforward group stage in CAF qualifying, claiming four wins out of six to top their group and advance to the all-important third round.
It was there where they got the better of Nigeria over two legs to book their place in Qatar, coming out on top via the away-goal rule after following up a 0-0 stalemate on their own turf with a 1-1 draw away from home.
GHANA'S ROAD TO QATAR
3 September 2021: Ghana 1-0 Ethiopia (Qualifying group stage)
6 September 2021: South Africa 1-0 Ghana (Qualifying group stage)
9 October 2021: Ghana 3-1 Zimbabwe (Qualifying group stage)
12 October 2021: Zimbabwe 0-1 Ghana (Qualifying group stage)
11 November 2021: Ethiopia 1-1 Ghana (Qualifying group stage)
14 November 2021: Ghana 1-0 South Africa (Qualifying group stage)
25 March 2022: Ghana 0-0 Nigeria (Qualifying third-round first leg)
29 March 2022: Nigeria 1-1 Ghana (Qualifying third-round second leg)
Portugal had to secure their place at the 2022 World Cup the hard way after finishing second in their qualifying group, with an agonising final defeat at home to Serbia forcing them to enter the play-offs.
In the end they still managed to navigate their way past Turkey and North Macedonia, meaning Santos' men were drawn in Group H alongside Uruguay, South Korea and today's opponents Ghana.
PORTUGAL'S ROAD TO QATAR
24 March 2021: Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan (Qualifying group stage)
27 March 2021: Serbia 2-2 Portugal (Qualifying group stage)
30 March 2021: Luxembourg 1-3 Portugal (Qualifying group stage)
1 September 2021: Portugal 2-1 Republic of Ireland (Qualifying group stage)
7 September 2021: Azerbaijan 0-3 Portugal (Qualifying group stage)
12 October 2021: Portugal 5-0 Luxembourg (Qualifying group stage)
11 November 2021: Republic of Ireland 0-0 Portugal (Qualifying group stage)
14 November 2021: Portugal 1-2 Serbia (Qualifying group stage)
24 March 2022: Portugal 3-1 Turkey (Qualifying play-off semi-final)
29 March 2022: Portugal 2-0 North Macedonia (Qualifying play-off final)
Portugal went through the gears in their last training session before today's game at their Al Shahaniya training complex on Wednesday, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix and Ruben Neves seen putting in their final preparations.
Portugal vs Ghana will be aired live on ITV for UK viewers. If you are looking to stream the game, you need to head to the ITV Hub.
UK viewers can also catch the game on STV - which is a Scottish free-to-air television channel owned by STV Group. STV Player will also stream the game for those on the go.
Meanwhile, the following stations will be airing the game for American viewers: FOX, Telemundo, fuboTV, Peacock Premium, DirecTV Stream, Vidgo and Sling Blue.
Australian viewers can tune into the game via SBS, who will be televising every match during the 2022 World Cup. SBS On Demand will also stream the Portugal vs Ghana fixture for those on the move.
If you're unable to watch the game live, you can relive the action via the FIFA YouTube Channel (Worldwide). The official YouTube channel will be posting highlight reels after each game.
4pm (UK), 11am (US), 3am on Friday (Australian Eastern Time)
Former European champions Portugal boast a squad containing some of the biggest stars in world football, but what about Ghana?
The Black Stars have five Premier League players in their ranks, including Arsenal's Partey and Palace's Ayew.
Leicester defender Daniel Amartey, Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey and Southampton centre-back Mohammed Salisu were also included in Otto Addo's 26-man squad.
Other Ghana players of note at the World Cup include former West Ham and Swansea star Andre Ayew, who captains the side, Chelsea loanee Baba Rahman, Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus and Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams.
Today's match is set to take place at Stadium 974, which is located 6 miles outside of Doha city centre.
In a first for the World Cup, this stadium has been made from 974 shipping containers and other materials that can easily be dismantled after the tournament finishes.
It overlooks the Doha Corniche and the skyline of the West Bay - a waterfront promenade that looks spectacular at night - and will stage games up to the last 16.
The aim is to use as few materials as possible and thereby reduce waste and emissions.
Portugal and Ghana have only played each other once before, and that also came at a World Cup.
It was Portugal who emerged victorious on the day, claiming a 2-1 win over Ghana at the 2014 tournament.
The score was locked at 1-1 with just 10 minutes to play, before a certain Cristiano Ronaldo turned home the winner late on.
Could history repeat itself today?
Ronaldo took to Twitter on Wednesday night to rally the troops ahead of Portugal's opening match, urging his team-mates to bring the country 'pride and joy'.
Prestes a iniciarmos a nossa campanha na maior competição do Mundo. Uma aventura que desejamos longa e repleta de sucessos, de forma a elevarmos bem alto o nome e a bandeira do nosso país. Queremos encher todos os portugueses de orgulho e alegria. Não há impossíveis! Força ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/GhfbIM5UDo— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 23, 2022
Ronaldo initially appeared a doubt after sitting out Portugal's warm-up friendly with Nigeria last Thursday through illness, but he has since declared himself fit for their opener after returning to training.
Santos therefore has no injury concerns heading into the game, meaning Bernardo Silva and one of Joao Felix or Rafael Leao are likely to start alongside Ronaldo in attack.
Ghana, too, do not appear to have any injury concerns heading into this afternoon's encounter, with Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew and Arsenal's Partey expected to start.
Portugal (4-3-3): Costa; Cancelo, Dias, Pepe, Mendes; Fernandes, Carvalho, Neves; Silva, Ronaldo, Leao
Ghana (4-2-3-1): Ati-Zigi; Lamptey, Amartey, Salisu, Mensah; Partey, Samed; Sulemana, Williams, A.Ayew; J.Ayew
Welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of this afternoon's World Cup showdown between Portugal and Ghana, who go head to head in their opening Group H fixture at Stadium 974.
While there will be plenty of high-profile stars in action, Cristiano Ronaldo is almost certain to dominate the headlines before, during and after today's match having left Manchester United by mutual consent this week.
Ronaldo is expected to line up for the first time since his acrimonious split with United as the Portugal captain looks to put that saga behind him and get their World Cup campaign off to a flyer.
Fernando Santos' men will have their work cut out against Ghana, nevertheless, who have a number of familiar Premier League faces in their ranks - including Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey.
It should make for a fascinating 90 minutes (plus a potentially excessive amount of stoppage time) with kick-off to come at 4pm... and you can keep up with all the updates throughout the afternoon here.
News Source: dailymail.co.uk
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22-Year-Old Meriden Man Charged In Crash That Seriously Injured 2 Passengers
New Haven County resident Daniel Leal Jr., of Meriden, was arrested on Friday, Dec. 2, in connection to a crash that happened in Kearny, New Jersey, in October of 2021, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.
Police responded to the crash near the Route 7 and Harrison Avenue split at about 4:10 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2021, after receiving reports that a vehicle struck a parked tractor-trailer, Suarez reported.
The four occupants of the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer were taken to University Hospital in Newark, including a 19-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, both residents of Passic, who had suffered critical injuries, the report said.
Leal, who was a resident of Garfield at the time, and a second 20-year-old Passaic man, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Suarez said.
Investigators found that Leal was under the influence at the time of the crash, and a revolver was found in the trunk of the Mitsubishi, according to the announcement.
Suarez said Leal was charged with:
- Two counts of second-degree aggravated assault
- Two counts of third-degree assault by auto while driving under the influence (resulting in serious bodily injury)
- Fourth-degree assault by auto while driving under the influence (resulting in bodily injury)
- Second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon