Saturday, 28 January 2023

Portugal 5-1 win over Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying

Portugal 5-1 win over Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10th Portugal hat-trick in big win vs. Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying. A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick helped Portugal stroll to a 5-0 win over Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying Group A.

The victory ensures Portugal remains a point behind group leaders Serbia, who advance onto 17 points with a home win over Azerbaijan by 3-1 and boasted a game in hand and superior goal difference with 2 rounds of games remaining.

The treble, which meant Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to net ten international hat-tricks, brings his tally to 115 global goals from 182 caps as he continues to expand his lead as the top men's international goalscorer persistently.

Portugal had the match all but won within the opening 18 minutes as they raced to a three-goal lead. Cristiano Ronaldo bangs twice from the penalty spot in the 8th and 13th minutes: the 1st foul was given on Bernardo Silva from Sebastian Thill, though replays appeared to show the contact came outside the box.

For the 2nd penalty, Ronaldo got fouled by goalkeeper Anthony Moris, and after converting, he got forced to take it a 2nd time as Andre Silva got judged to be infringing in the area.

Five minutes later, Ronaldo's Manchester United teammate, Bruno Fernandes, made it 3-0 as he fired in following good work from Bernardo Silva. Midfielder Joao Palhinha added the 4th goal with over 20 minutes, converting from a corner after saved Cristiano Ronaldo's overhead kick.

Read More: Raphael Varane out for few weeks due to Injury

After the match, said Portugal manager Fernando Santos,

"we've achieved our first aim, which was to win this game. Now we have two more qualifiers left. We managed to hamper our rivals and take advantage of every situation to transform them into goalscoring opportunities."

Fernandes, who scored Portugal's third goal of the evening, praised his side's performance.

"Scoring always helps regardless of whether it's early or not. As time went by, we knew that Luxembourg would close itself back, and we had to start strong. That's what we did.

"I think we had a complete match overall and the most important thing was the result."

In the November window, Santos's Portugal side traveled to Ireland before then hosting Serbia in what could be a winner-takes-all fixture to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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