Cristiano Ronaldo claimed yet another record as he became the first player to score in five World Cups with a penalty but it was substituted Joao Felix and Rafael Leao's goals that narrowly edged Portugal past Ghana in a nervy 3-2 win at the Stadium 974.
The first half of the Group H clash was forgettable apart from a couple of Ronaldo chances, but it burst into life after the interval as Portugal belatedly began their campaign.
Ronaldo, a free agent after his second stint at Old Trafford ended abruptly on Tuesday, thumped home a dubiously-awarded penalty in the 65th minute after an innocuous coming together with Mohammed Salisu saw the referee point to the spot.
Ghana responded quickly with Andre Ayew poking a loose ball in the box after Kudus was trying to cut back which restored parity in the 73rd minute.
Joao Felix restored Portugal's lead seconds later with a through pass from Bruno Fernandes who was bossing the midfield
Bruno provided the killer pass that opened up Ghana's defence for Rafael Leao to leave Ghana stunned.
Osman Bukari's 89th-minute headed reply set up an anxious ending for Portugal but they survived nine minutes of stoppage time to win their opening game of a World Cup for the first time in their last four appearances.