Ghana head coach Nana Otto Addo has bemoaned the wrong penalty decision that contributed to Ghana’s 3-2 defeat to Portugal in their World Cup opener.
The former Borussia Dortmund assistant manager insisted the penalty was misguided and that Cristiano Ronaldo got a free gift from the referee.
Ghana opened their FIFA 2022 World Cup on a disapointing note, suffering a 3-2 defeat to Portugal.
While Portugal was the better side, Ghana held on and ended the first half on a barren note, but the second half was the most dramatic – producing five goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, and Raphael Leao all found themselves on the score sheet for Portugal, while Andre Ayew and Bukari scored for Ghana.
Three of the goals came toward the end of the match, but the first goal by Cristiano Ronaldo was controversial.
Portugal were awarded a penalty after Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu allegedly fouled Cristiano Ronaldo in the box.
The call by the referee for a penalty was a bit controversial as Ronaldo appear to have intentionally threw himself to the ground when there was apparently minimal contact.
Reacting to the penalty decision, a furious Otto Addo contended that it was Ronaldo who fouled Mohammed Salisu, not the reverse.
Despite disagreeing with the penalty decision, Otto Addo accepted that there was contact, although it was Ronaldo who actually fouled Salisu.
“When they score the goal, the game changed. I think it was a really wrong decision. We play the ball, and sure there was contact afterwards,” Atto said.
Otto Ado said this when he was asked whether Ronaldo’s status must have influenced the penalty decision, saying he does not know, but the penalty was a wrong decision base on the footage of the replay.
‘I don’t know whether they weren’t paying attention, whether the VAR wasn’t paying attention”, the coach said. “If you look back at the scene, it is unbelievable. We were playing the ball, it was a foul against us!’
The 47-year-old seemed to undermine the fact that Ronaldo was the first player to score a goal in five consecutive World Cup tournaments, given the circumstance of the goal.
When it was put to him whether he had any words about Ronaldo becoming the first man to score at five World Cups, he said: ‘If somebody scores a goal congratulations but it was really a goal. A special gift from the referee.’
Otto Addo concluded by saying that Ghana were just unfortunate after the disappointing result and said the team needed just a little bit of luck to overturn the game.
‘With a little bit of luck, we could have reached one point.’
Ghana plays South Korea in their next World Cup game and must win if they have to stand any chance of making it to the next round of the competition.
Nana Otto Addo
Born on 9 June 1974, Nana Otto Addo is a Ghanaian professional football manager and former player. Born and raised in Hamburg, West Germany, the 47-year-old started his professional football career in Germany.
Otto Addo made a total of 295 appearances playing for different clubs in Germany and scored 35 goals throughout his club career.
He has played for top German clubs like Hannover 96, Mainz 05, and Borussia Dortmund.
Nana Otto Addo finished his professional football career in 2008 with Hamburger as his last club.
He also played for seven years for Ghana national team from 1999 to 2006, making 15 appearances and scoring 2 goals.
A year after retiring from football as a player in 2008 at Hamburger, Otto Addo started his managerial career the following year with the club as assistant manager.
Throughout his managerial career, Nana Otto Addo has never managed a football club as a head coach.
He had spells with Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund, including other clubs, but as assistant manager, scout, and talent coach.
His first full-blown managerial job came in 2022. He started as an assistant, then interim manager, before being appointed the head coach in 2022.
The 2022 World Cup is his first major tournament with the Black Stars of Ghana.