Five major talking points from Black Stars' defeat to Portugal

Five Major Talking Points From Black Stars Defeat To Portugal The Black Stars of Ghana

Fri, 25 Nov 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The second game in Group H was marred with a lot of controversial refereeing decisions as Ghana lost its opening game in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to Portugal.

After a goalless and very tense first 45 minutes at Stadium 974, five goals were scored in a blockbuster second half as Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in five consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments since the inception of the competition 92 years ago.

Portugal won the game 3-2 with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Jao Felix, and Rafael Leao while Andre Dede Ayew and Osman Bukari got the two consolation goals for the Black Stars.

The two goals from Ayew and Bukari also meant that the Black Stars were the first African team to have scored in the ongoing World Cup.

As Ghanaians continue to lick their wounds and hope for a better second game against Korea, GhanaWeb's Joel Eshun has put together five major talking points from the match.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo's "dubios" penalty

The first major talking point in the game was the decision of American referee, Elfath to award a penalty for Cristiano Ronaldo after a challenge by Mohammed Salisu in the 64th minute.

The referee was urged by the Ghanaian players to at least go and have a second look with the VAR but he stood on his ground and awarded the penalty which was calmly converted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The decision angered some Ghanaians on social media who have called on FIFA to suspend the American referee and all the officials in the VAR room.

English referee, Mike Dean, who was a pundit for BEIN Sports has also insisted that the referee had a bad call and it was the responsibility of those in the VAR room to invite Elfath to go and have a second look.

2. Introduction of Jordan Ayew

After Ronaldo's penalty goal in the 65th minute, Ghana responded with the equalizer after 8 minutes through Andre Dede Ayew.

Portugal coach, Fernando Santos responded to Ghana's equalizer with a change by introducing Rafael Leao to replace Ruben Neves and Otto Addo decided to do same but his changes cost his team the game.

While Santos brought in one of his best ball carriers on the bench, Otto Addo took out Mohammed Kudus who created Ghana's first goal and was the ball carrier on the pitch for the Black Stars, and replaced him with Jordan Ayew.

Jordan Ayew's substitution became a disaster as he was at fault for the goals scored by Jao Felix and Rafael Leão.

3. Rafael Leão's "offside" goal

Jordan Ayew lost the ball for the second time in a crucial position and the Black Stars were punished in the 80th minute through AC Milan's Rafael Leao.

But the contention was that Leao's leg at the time Bruno Fernandes played the pass was in an offside position similar to Enner Valencia's first goal against Qatar which was ruled out by the VAR.

However, the goal was not even checked by the VAR hence the disappointment of Ghanaians about officiating on the day.

4.Osman Bukari's celebration

Just when many had given up hope for the Black Stars after Portugal had taken a 3-1 lead through Rafael Leão, Osman Bukari gave Ghanaians hope in the game when he connected his head to Baba Rahman's cross in the 89th minute to take the score-line to 3-2.

But to the surprise of many Ghanaians and the football community in general, Osman Bukari instead of quickly picking the ball from the net and going to restart play opted to celebrate his goal with the iconic "suuiii" celebration of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bukari was heavily criticized by some Ghanaians on social media for his poor decision at that critical minute and he has apologized for that.

5. Inaki Williams late minute fall

With few minutes to end the game, Inaki Williams nearly scored the final goal in the match when he came from behind to steal the ball from Portugal's goalkeeper Diogo Costa.

Costa placed the ball down forgetting Inaki Williams was behind him. The striker quickly dashed forward to steal the ball from Costa with the aim of scoring a goal.

Inaki after stealing the ball slipped for the first time but he was tripped by goalkeeper Costa thus preventing the Ghanaian from striking the ball before it was cleared by Reuben Dias.

Ghanaians were hoping for a review of that incident but there was no check from the VAR and the game ended 3-2 in favor of Portugal.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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