Cristiano Ronaldo wrote his piece of World Cup history as Portugal beat Ghana in their first Group H game.
Pre-tournament favourites Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0 with a brace for Richarlison.
After a dull goalless draw between Uruguay and South Korea earlier in the day, Switzerland opened their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Cameroon.
Ronaldo makes history
Just two days after terminating his contract with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo made World Cup history when Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 in their opening match.
Ronaldo became the first player to score in five World Cup tournaments when he converted the penalty.
Osman Bukari scored a late second for Ghana after Andre Ayew’s equaliser appeared to end Portugal’s celebration for a moment. However, a quick double from Joao Felix and substitute Rafael Leao restored the lead.
RONALDO BECOMES THE FIRST MEN'S PLAYER TO SCORE IN 5 CONSECUTIVE WORLD CUPS ? pic.twitter.com/KRTgFZF3rV
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 24, 2022
Richarlison at the double
Brazil defeated Serbia in their opening Group G match thanks to a magnificent goal from Tottenham forward Richarlison.
Richarlison proved why he was chosen over Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus by scoring both goals at a yellow-clad Lusail Stadium.
After a low-key first half in which Serbia’s tenacious defence maintained its balance, Richarlison broke the tie shortly after the hour mark when he tapped in from close range.
Then Richarlison scored a fantastic second goal, now a front-runner for the tournament’s goal. He flicked the ball up with his left foot and then spun to send a right-footed volley flying into the corner.
GOLAÇO DO RICHARLISON pic.twitter.com/P8pNsC5ZO1
— out of context brasileirão (@oocbrsao) November 24, 2022
Neymar left in tears with an ankle injury
With an apparent ankle injury sustained in Brazil’s World Cup victory against Serbia, Neymar was seen sobbing on the Brazil bench.
He continued to play until the 79th minute when he was taken off the field and had ice taped on his ankle. He was distraught while the medical staff worked on him.
Coach Tite responded, “I didn’t see Neymar was injured. That’s why I should have made the decision earlier.”
“I was duped by his ability to overcome it. I didn’t notice it until after I watched the video.”
After the game, team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said that there had been “trauma” to the ankle. It will take 24 to 48 hours for complete evaluation.
But Tite didn’t lose heart over his leading man. He continued, “We are confident that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup.”