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World Cup history for Ronaldo, Neymar injury scare after Brazil win

Ronaldo became the first man to score in five different editions of the World Cup as he slotted home a controversial penalty to help Portugal down Ghana 3-2.

AFP
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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal at the Qatar World Cup on Nov 24. Photo: Reuters
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal at the Qatar World Cup on Nov 24. Photo: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed a piece of World Cup history on Thursday as Brazil were rocked by an injury scare to captain Neymar after a hardfought 2-0 victory over Serbia.

Ronaldo became the first man to score in five different editions of the World Cup as he slotted home a controversial penalty to help Portugal down Ghana 3-2 in their Group H clash.

The typically ice-cold spot-kick was Ronaldo's eighth career goal at the World Cup and comes after a tumultuous week which saw the star forward make a sensational exit from Manchester United after weeks of tensions with the club.

"It was a beautiful moment, my fifth World Cup, we won, and we started with our good foot," Ronaldo said after the win.

"It's a very important win, we know the first match is crucial, but the world record is also something that makes me very proud."

But there was controversy surrounding the penalty, which was awarded after Ronaldo crashed theatrically to the turf following minimal contact with Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.

Furious Ghana coach Otto Addo described the penalty decision as a "gift" to Ronaldo.

"I think it was a really wrong decision, we were playing the ball... I don't know why VAR didn't come up, there is no explanation," Addo said.

"If somebody scores a goal then congrats, but it was really a gift... a special gift from the referee."

In Thursday's late game, Brazil were rocked by an injury scare involving captain Neymar after two goals from Richarlison secured a 2-0 win over Serbia in Group G.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar was substituted with 11 minutes remaining and was later seen with a badly swollen right ankle as he left the field.

It was the latest in a series of injury dramas surrounding the Brazilian talisman, whose 2014 World Cup was ended by a back injury.

The Brazilian skipper was also ruled out of the 2019 Copa America due to torn ligaments in the same right ankle. He also missed 10 weeks of the 2021/2022 season with an injured left ankle.

Brazilian team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said after the win it was too early to give a clear prognosis on his latest knock.

"We need to wait 24 to 48 hours to have a better assessment," Lasmar said.

"We need to wait, we cannot make any premature comments about his evolution."

Brazil coach Tite however said he was confident Neymar would be fit for the remainder of the tournament.

"You can be certain that Neymar is going to play in the World Cup," Tite told reporters.

The injury took the shine off a Brazilian win that came through goals from Tottenham's Richarlison, including a spectacular volleyed second goal.

"It's a childhood dream come true," Richarlison said afterwards.

"We played a good game, especially in the second half, when the opponent got tired, and we managed to take advantage of that."