DOHA, Qatar — Cristiano Ronaldo closed his eyes, took in a deep breath and then made World Cup history.
The Portugal striker became the first male player to score at five World Cups with his 65th-minute penalty in a 3-2 win over Ghana.
South Korea held South American power Uruguay to a 0-0 draw, a result that probably favours the Asian team.
Richarlison scored two goals, the second with a spectacular acrobatic kick, to help Brazil defeat Serbia 2-0.
Ronaldo makes World Cup history
Days after his contract was terminated at Manchester United following a tell-all interview, he let his soccer do the talking at the start of likely his final World Cup.
“This was a beautiful moment,” Ronaldo said. “The world record, the only player to score in five World Cups, makes me very proud.”
Wheeling away after the ball struck the back of the net to give Portugal a 1-0 lead, a smiling Ronaldo performed his usual leap and swivel in the air _ the crowd roared his trademark “SI-UUU” as he did the pirouette _ before getting mobbed by teammates.
He has now scored in every World Cup since his first in 2006, when a penalty against Iran started his run of goals in the tournament that’s now up to eight in 18 matches. He has a men’s record 118 international goals.
“I think Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. “In 50 years, we will continue to talk about him.”
His latest scoring record adds to the luster of a resume that should ensure Ronaldo receives plenty of offers from new clubs after splitting with United on Tuesday. That came after he gave an unauthorised interview to Piers Morgan criticising the manager, owners and his teammates at the English club.
His fraught buildup to the tournament didn’t appear to affect Ronaldo against Ghana, even though he wasted two clear-cut chances in the first half.
“It was a week that finished this chapter (with United),” Ronaldo said. “It is closed and now I want to start with the good foot forward. We started, we won, I want to help my team and all the rest does not matter.“
Ronaldo ended the match with his head in his hands in pure relief after Ghana almost snatched a draw in the ninth minute of stoppage time thanks to a piece of ingenuity.
In the last action of the game, Ghana striker Inaki Williams hid behind Diogo Costa as the Portugal goalkeeper rolled the ball on the ground and prepared to clear it. Williams dispossessed Costa and, despite slipping, managed to poke the ball toward goal.
All the goals came in a wild final half-hour, with Andre Ayew equalizing for Ghana eight minutes after Ronaldo converted his penalty after tumbling under a challenge by Mohammed Salisu.
Korea holds Uruguay 0-0
This time it was South Korea holding South American power Uruguay to a 0-0 draw, a result that probably favours the Asian team.
The draw at Education City Stadium was yet another early World Cup match with a surprising result. Argentina and Germany both lost their opening matches in major upsets.
South Korea, with forward Son Heung-min wearing a mask to protect a broken left eye socket, always looked the more likely to score against the more experienced Uruguayans. The South Koreans were quicker, pressing from the opening whistle.
Some South Korean fans wore Batman-like masks in solidarity with Son.
However, in a match with few clear scoring chances, Uruguay had the best chances: Diego Godin hit the post with a header in the 43rd minute and Federico Valverde hit it in the 89th.
Uruguay will next face Portugal in Group H while South Korea plays Ghana.
South Korea attacked from the start and Son excited the crowd every time he touched the ball. He managed only one threatening attack in the first half, however, and did less in the second.
South Korea always looked quicker than Uruguay, but not necessarily the more dangerous. The team’s best chance came in the 34th minute when Hwang Ui-jo sailed a close-range attempt over the crossbar.
As the half wore on, Uruguay began to take more possession but always seemed more cautious, taking less initiative despite having the more experienced players.
Son went down in a heap early in the second half with Martin Caceres getting the first yellow card of the match.
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso sent in Edinson Cavani for Luis Suarez in 64th minute as the pace of the match slowed until Valverde hit the post in the final minutes.
Richarlison double gives Brazil win over Serbia
Richarlison scored two goals, the second with a spectacular acrobatic kick, to help Brazil stun Serbia 2-0 at the World Cup.
In the 73rd minute, the striker used one touch to get the ball up in the air and then spun around and got off the ground before knocking the ball into the net with his right foot.
Brazil had struggled to get past the Serbian defense until Richarlison scored from close range in the 62nd in a buildup that started with Neymar.
Vinicius Junior assisted on both goals.
Neymar, seeking his first major title with Brazil, stayed at 75 goals for the national team, two shy of Pele’s scoring record.