Ronaldo was close from the start, working tirelessly to find space in and around Ghana’s massive defense.
A slightly better touch would have seen him score in the 10th minute as he was denied by keeper Lawrence Ettie-Zigi and he actually looked dazed a few minutes later when he rose spectacularly in the air but fired a chance wide.
He then had the ball in the net but his effort was disallowed for a foul – but he was relentless in his desire to lead Portugal from the front, even as his teammates tried to pass him the ball. so predictable.
When his moment came it took some old-fashioned cunning to earn a hard-awarded penalty – ensuring he fell in a heap after only a shoulder haul by Mohamed Salisu.
Remarkably, Ronaldo has now scored in all 10 major tournaments he has appeared in for Portugal, a run begun when he was a fresh-faced youth player at Euro 2004.
Crucially for Portugal’s chances of going deep into Qatar, it was not just the Ronaldo show as his teammates, especially in the second half, took on more responsibility.
After Ghana surprisingly equalized, it was Joao Felix who restored Portugal’s lead with a skillful finish and then a superb run and passes by Bruno Fernandes to set up substitute Rafael Leao.
But the night, once again, belonged to CR7.