Portugal – Ghana: World Cup 2022 – Live

Portugal: Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Otavio, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Ghana: Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Abdul-Rahman Baba, Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku, Mohammed Salisu, Alidu Seidu, Thomas Partey, Salis Abdul Samed, Mohammed Kudus, Andre Ayew, Inaki Williams.

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Built from shipping containers and other bits and bobs, the temporary arena that is Stadium 974 plays host to today’s Group H encounter between Portugal and Ghana. Much as he would like it, Cristiano Ronaldo has been dominating the headlines in the build-up to this game and will be under pressure to deliver in the wake of that interview with that man, an act of insubordation that resulted in him severing ties with Manchester United earlier this week. A massively self-regarding cog in a team brimful of talents that often seem cowed in his presence, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will be more help than hindrance as team embark on this World Cup campaign.

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In Qatar on the back of a play-off win against Nigeria, Otto Addo’s Ghana come into this tournament on the back of friendly wins over Nicuragua and Switzerland, which came in the wake of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil. There is a suggestion that Addo doesn’t know his best side, but received a boost in September when Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey, who qualifies for the Black Stars through his father, decided to declare for Ghana.

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Lamptey joins his fellow Premier League players Mohammad Salisu (Southampton), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) and Thomas Partey (Arsenal) and Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) in the Ghana squad. Like Lamptey, Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams also declared for Ghana in recent months at the behest of his grandad and various Ghanaian officials. The striker’s parents crossed the Sahara in search of a new life in Spain when “Kweku” was still in his mother’s womb. Interestingly, Inaki’s younger brother Nico came on as a sub for Spain in their demolition of Costa Rica yesterday.

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Anyway, enough introductory chat – kick-off in Doha is at 4pm (GMT) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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main events

Ghana: It’s hard to know what to expect from Ghana, who sit just outside the top 60 in the FIFA rankings, had an unspeakably bad Africa Cup of Nations in January, finishing bottom of their group with just one point, and suffered the indignity of defeat at the hands of the Islands. Moon all the way.

This disastrous performance earned Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac P45 points and he was replaced by former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Otto Addo. Still employed by the Bundesliga team as a scout, he promptly led Ghana through the World Cup play-off against Nigeria. Former Brighton manager Chris Hughton, former Dutch international George Boateng and former Nordsjylland coach Mas Dramani are also part of Ghana’s new leadership structure.

The starting line-up for Portugal vs Ghana

Portugal: Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Rafael Guerrero, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandez, Ottavio, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ghana: Lawrence Atti Zegi, Abdelrahman Baba, Daniel Amartey, Alexandre Dzeko, Mohamed Salisou, Alidu Seydou, Thomas Partey, Salis Abdel Samad, Mohamed Kodos, Andre Ayew, Inaki Williams.

Unemployed 37-year-old starts in portugal. Photo: Glenn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Portugal: Coach Fernando Santos says the team is as integrated as it has been for years, despite the ongoing series. Nick Ames reports from Doha.

an interview: “That’s when I went to talk to my grandfather. I told him there was a chance I could play for Ghana in the World Cup and what did he think. He immediately said that he didn’t have long to live and that he dreamed of his grandson playing for Ghana. There was nothing left to think about at that time.” Sid Lowe finds out what changes the mind of the initially reluctant Inaki Williams and convinces him to announce Ghana, the country where his parents are from and where he was born.

Portugal manager speaks: “Winning a tournament like this is very difficult for any team, for any country,” said Fernando Santos. “You only have to look at these first few games to see that clearly. I was watching the Croatia-Morocco game now, and you see very even competitions.

“This is because most of the players are in the same leagues. Against Ghana, for example, two or three of their players are Bruno’s opponents.” [Fernandes, who was sitting alongside him] in the same tournament. They play for big teams and are familiar with tactical issues in play. In the past you would have noticed a difference, but nowadays you don’t, especially since all the coaches are at a very high level.

“We are ready to face opponents who will cause us a lot of problems. Ghana are a very well organized team. Their match against Switzerland showed that. African teams have a lot of talent, are unpredictable and always improve tactically. Today they are a much more complete team.”

On Ronaldo’s pass: “Will it take our focus away?” Asked. “No, it’s not going to happen. I haven’t even heard the players talk about it at any time here, in training, during free time, when they’re playing games like soccer, not even Ronaldo himself. Maybe they turn on the TV in their rooms, they talk to their families, they do what they want.

“But what is important is the total focus that I see in my players and a great spirit, totally in tune with what they have to do, what our goals are, and at the same time aware of the difficulties we will face because they have a realistic view.”

President of Portugal Fernando Santos (left) and Bruno Fernandes attend the press conference yesterday.
President of Portugal Fernando Santos (left) and Bruno Fernandes attend the press conference yesterday. Picture: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Ghana manager speaks: “We have the quality and we can compete,” said Otto Addo. “We have to be brave and have self-confidence. We’ve seen in some upsets that it’s the little things that decide games and we expect it to be the same against Portugal.”

When asked if he thought the hoopla surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Manchester United would have an impact on today’s match, Addo said this. “I don’t know and to be honest, I don’t care. This is not our problem and I don’t think it is a big deal. Everyone wants to win and no matter what happens, it’s a big stage and a big match at World Cup level. So I don’t usually think this could disable anyone.”

Otto Addo (left) and Andre Ayew spoke to the press at the Qatar National Convention Center yesterday.
Otto Addo (left) and Andre Ayew spoke to the press at the Qatar National Convention Center yesterday. Photo: Ali Haider/EPA

Today’s match referees

  • Rule: Ismail Fath

  • Assistant referees: Kyle Atkins and Corey Parker

  • Fourth official: Stephanie Frappart

  • Video Assistant Referee: Armando Villarreal

Today, Ismail Al-Fateh leads the American team to a large extent from the match referees, as the French referee, Stephanie Frappart, will act as the fourth referee.
Today, Ismail Al-Fateh leads the American team to a large extent from the match referees, as the French referee, Stephanie Frappart, will act as the fourth referee. Photo: Kieran McManus/BBI/REX/Shutterstock

Early team news

The absence of Diogo Jota from the Portugal squad due to a calf injury means the coach of the team Cristiano Ronaldo Fernando Santos, Bernardo Silva and one of Joao Felix or Rafael Leao are likely to start up front alongside the Lords, while there are concerns over the fitness of PSG full-back Nuno Mendes.

Together with a backstage team that includes Chris Hughton and George Boateng, Otto Adu is believed to have no injury concerns and will deal with his starting line-up from a full squad. And he will have to choose an inexperienced goalkeeper after Charlton’s Jogo Woollacott and South Africa’s Richard Ofori were ruled out of the soccer World Cup due to injury. Lawrence Ati-Zighi (2), Munaf Nooreddine (2) and Danlad Ibrahim (0), Ghana’s three goalkeepers in Qatar, have only four caps.

Lawrence Ati-Zighi is one of three goalkeepers in Ghana's World Cup squad to earn four senior-only caps.
Lawrence Ati-Zighi is one of three goalkeepers in Ghana’s World Cup squad to earn four senior-only caps. Photo: Laurent Gilliéron/EPA

Group H: Portugal – Ghana

Built from shipping containers and other bits and bobs, the temporary arena hosts Stadium 974 for today’s Group H meeting between Portugal and Ghana. As much as he would like, Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated the headlines in the build-up to this match and will be under pressure to deliver in the wake that meeting with that Man, an act of insubordination that led to the severing of ties with Manchester United earlier this week. A hugely self-respecting cog in a squad full of talent that often seems fearless in his presence, it remains to be seen if Ronaldo will help more than a handful as the team embarks on this World Cup campaign.

In Qatar, after its play-off win over Nigeria, Ghana’s Otto-Addo entered this tournament on the back of friendly victories over Nicaragua and Switzerland, which came on the heels of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil. There is a suggestion that Addo does not know his best team, but he was given a boost in September when Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey, who qualified for the Black Stars through his father, decided to announce Ghana.

Lamptey joins fellow Premier League players Mohamed Salisu (Southampton), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Thomas Partey (Arsenal) and Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) in the Ghana squad. Like Lamptey, Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams announced his move to Ghana in recent months at the behest of his grandfather and several Ghanaian officials. The striker’s parents crossed the desert in search of a new life in Spain when Quico was still in his mother’s womb. Interestingly, Inaki’s younger brother Nico came on as a substitute for Spain in their demolition of Costa Rica yesterday.

Anyway, enough introductory chat – kick off in Doha at 4pm (GMT) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and make-up.

#Portugal #Ghana #World #Cup #Live

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