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Oliseh: Ronaldo was 'absolutely brilliant’ winning ‘smart’ penalty against Ghana in World Cup

20:59 GMT+3 26/11/2022
20221124 Cristiano Ronaldo
Nigeria legend Sunday Oliseh has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for showing great intelligence to win Portugal’s controversial penalty against Ghana.
  • Oliseh has lauded Ronaldo for being smart in the challenge
  • Nigeria legend feels Salisu was a victim of the forward’s intelligence
  • The decision has been slammed by observers as unfair on Ghana

WHAT HAPPENED? Ronaldo went down in the box after what looked like a 50-50 challenge for the ball with Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.

It was a decision that has been termed unfair by Ghana supporters and observers alike, but former Super Eagles midfielder Oliseh feels Salisu fell for the Portugal captain’s trick.

WHAT DID OLISEH SAY? "The strikers have become smarter,” Oliseh said during the Fifa Technical Study Group analysis for the first round of World Cup matches on Saturday, as quoted by Kicker.

“People can say whatever they want about this man [Ronaldo]. His action was simply smart. He was patient and waited for just the right moment to be a tad ahead of the defender on the ball, who then couldn't help but hit him. That was absolutely brilliant."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 65th-minute penalty saw Ronaldo become the first man to score at five World Cups but more significantly, it broke Ghana’s hearts after putting up a brave display until then.

The Black Stars replied eight minutes later through captain Andre Ayew but Joao Felix and Rafael Leao scored two later goals for Portugal to win 3-2. Substitute Osman Bukari scored the second for the West Africans at the end.

Sentiments of poor officiating, however, dominated the talk after the match with observers feeling Ghana were hard done by, given the referee had an opportunity to review the incident but turned it down.

WHAT’S MORE? Former Premier League referee Mike Dean termed the decision ‘100 percent wrong.’ “The defender clearly plays the ball. Ronaldo then touches the back of the defender, goes down, instigated contact,” Dean said while analysing the incident on beIN Sports.

“It's not the referee's fault, he's given the decision on the field of play. The VAR, in my opinion, should have got involved and invited the referee over to have a look at it.”

WHAT’S NEXT? Ghana take on South Korea in their next match on Monday, looking for a positive result to get their campaign back on track.