Cristiano Ronaldo was taken off by Portugal coach, Fernando Santos, at the 88th minute of game as Portugal were comfortably leading the game vs Ghana by 3-1, in Group H Round 1 game in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
However, Portugal conceded a goal minute after Cristiano was substituted as Osman Bukari scored and celebrated with Cristiano’s iconic “Siuuu” celebration as the Portuguese captain watched in disbelief from the bench.
Portugal was put under a lot of pressure in additional time as Ghana searched for an equaliser. Ghana’s Inaki Williams, rather cheekily, stole the ball from the feet of Portugal’s goalie Diogo Costa, who failed to sense his presence behind him and Williams would have been left with an open goal if he hadn’t slipped at the right moment.
Portugal’s defenders, Ruben Dias and Danilo Pereira, were quick to react, taking control of the situation and clearing the ball out of the Portuguese box.
Conceding a goal with such an error would have jolted Portugal team as Ghana, respectfully, the weakest team in Group H. Football world was expecting Portugal to have an easy win against them and after the Cristiano Ronald’s record breaking penalty early in second half, they were the clear favorites to close the game with all 3 points in the bag.
However, Ghana showed real resilience as they made life difficult for Portugal’s defence and capitalised on Danilo’s error in clearing the ball and scored the equilizer.
Quick goals from Joao Felix and substitute Rafael Leao give Portugal a breathing as they went on to extend their lead by 2 goals with just 10 minutes to go till full 90 minutes.
However, Ghana scored again through Osman Bukari after Cancelo failed to clear an easy ball and was punished for it. Bukari then imitated Ronaldo’s iconic celebration right in front of him, leaving Ronaldo fuming at the bench and waving his hands angrily.
Ronaldo looked animated on the bench as Portugal were struggling to keep control of the game in added time after Bukari had reduced their lead to 1 goal.
Ronaldo’s heart was in mouth as Diogo Costa almost gifted Ghana a last second equilizer. The camera showed Ronaldo is utter disbelief as he held his hand over his head.
Diogo Costa looked very upset after the final whistle as he knew the importance of the 3 points for Portugal who now will face Korea Republic and Uruguay in the Group H remaining fixtures.
A video has appeared on social media where Cristiano Ronaldo is seen consoling Costa on his huge error which could have potentially costed Portugal 2 points had Ghana capitilized on that.
“We won, you have to laugh, we won!” Ronaldo is heard telling Costa as he looks very upset about his last minute error.
Ronaldo then asks Costa, “did you concede a goal?”
With Diogo Costa replying, “No, but he was close.”
“Then? You have to laugh, we win! Another victory and we go through, you can laugh! Let’s go, we won.” Ronaldo keeps telling Costa.
Fans praised Ronaldo for comforting and encouraging Costa. In a game, every player makes mistakes, but what matters, in the end,in the end is the team’s victory. Ronaldo has always been hailed for his leadership qualities, both on and off the field, and this behaviour demonstrates why he is such an important player and leader for the Portugal National Team.