Ghana coach Otto Addo has complained bitterly about the officiating in his side’s 3-2 defeat by Portugal in the World Cup and said Cristiano Ronaldo’s history-making goal was “a special gift from the referee”.
- Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score at five straight FIFA World Cup tournaments
- He reached the milestone with a 65th-minute penalty conversion after clashing with Ghanaian defender Mohammed Salisu
- Ghana’s coach, Otto Addo, says he thinks Salisu was actually fouled
Ronaldo won, and then converted, a 65th minute penalty to hand Portugal the lead — and become the first man to score at five World Cups — as they went onto win their Group H game.
But Addo felt American referee Ismail Elfath made the wrong call.
“I think it was a really wrong decision, we were playing the ball — I don’t know why VAR did not come up, there was no explanation for it,” said Addo about a soft penalty award after Ronaldo went down after minimal shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Mohammed Salisu.
“It was a wrong decision. It was actually a foul against us.”
Asked about Ronaldo’s milestone goal, Addo said: “If somebody scores a goal, congratulations. But this was a gift, really a gift.”
Addo said he tried to talk to the referee about some of the decisions afterwards.
“I wanted to do it in a calm way but I was told he was in a meeting. He was not in our favour. We got a few yellow cards, which were deserved, but there was also holding of jerseys and stopping counter attacks that were also yellow cards but not given to them,” he said.
Ghana’s goals were the first by an African team at the World Cup in Qatar in a vastly improved second-half performance and Addo added the performance gave them some confidence about their next encounter against South Korea.
“We have to win now and we are under pressure but then so are they,” he said of the South Korean side that drew 0-0 with Uruguay earlier in the day.