The 37-year-old’s thumping 61st-minute penalty put Fernando Santos’s side ahead in the Group H encounter, with the star striker keen to showcase his talents to potential new clubs after an acrimonious split with English club side Manchester United.
But Portugal’s advantage did not last long with Ghana captain Andre Ayew drawing his side level in the 73rd minute. Ayew’s strike marked the first goal by an African side at this year’s tournament and was joyously celebrated by the Black Stars’ raucous fans.
Unfortunately for them, the jubilant scenes appeared to provoke Portugal into switching on the afterburners, with Joao Felix and Rafael Leao netting twice in the following seven minutes to make it 3-1 at the 80-minute mark.
Any hopes they had of a comfortable stroll to victory, however, were undermined by Osman Bukari, who converted to make it 3-2 in the 89th minute.
A tense nine minutes of extra time followed, which drew to a close with Portugal defender Danilo clearing the ball away from near his side’s line after an error of judgement from goalkeeper Diogo Costa afforded Ghana an opportunity to snatch a dramatic leveller.
It was a wild finish to what had been a slow-burner of a match for the first 60 minutes, but Portugal’s ability to cling on and grab all three points put themselves top of Group H following Uruguay and South Korea’s scoreless draw earlier on Thursday.