Wednesday 1 September 2021

Ronaldo misses penalty, scores in Portugal’s dramatic win

Cristiano Ronaldo broke the all-time international goalscoring record with his 110th Portugal goal and then scored an injury-time winner 

to salvage his country a dramatic 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over the Republic of Ireland in Faro on Wednesday.


The 36-year-old Ronaldo, whose return to Manchester United from Juventus was confirmed on Tuesday, had missed a penalty in the 15th minute before John Egan gave Ireland a half-time lead.


But Ronaldo equalised in the 89th minute with a header, before outjumping the Irish defence again in the sixth minute of added time.


He passes Ali Daei, who scored 109 international goals, after equalling the Iranian great’s record tally during Euro 2020.


Portugal sit top of Group A with 10 points from four matches, although Serbia are only three points behind with a game in hand.


The group winners qualify automatically for the finals in Qatar, with the runners-up heading into the play-offs.


Ireland are still only above bottom team Azerbaijan after three defeats, including a humiliating 1-0 home loss to Luxembourg in March.


Luxembourg claimed a second win in World Cup qualifying for the first time in their history in the day’s other match, beating the Azeris 2-1.


Ronaldo was gifted the perfect opportunity to take the record on his own early on after Jeff Hendrick was adjudged to have tripped Bruno Fernandes.


The referee was asked by VAR to have a second look on the pitchside monitor, but he stuck with his original decision after a lengthy delay.


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