Brazil’s win over Serbia rocked by injury scare to Neymar
Doha, Qatar – Cristiano Ronaldo claimed a piece of World Cup history on Thursday as Brazil was rocked by an injury scare to captain Neymar after a hard-fought 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.
“If somebody scores a goal then congrats, but it was really a gift… a special gift from the referee,” Addo said.
In Thursday’s late game, Brazil was 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.
Iran claimed a famous 2-0 victory over 10-man Wales on Friday as Carlos Queiroz’s men scored two goals deep into added time to keep their World Cup campaign alive.
The Iran players, who sang the national anthem before kick-off, sent their thousands of supporters at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium delirious by beating a European team at a World Cup for the first time.