Portugal lost to Ireland until 43 minutes into the second half. But that’s when Cristiano Ronaldo appeared. The ace scored twice and secured the Portuguese victory by 2-1 this afternoon, in Algarve, for the fourth round of the European Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
The heroic performance came with the right to a record. CR7, who had missed a penalty when the game was 0-0, reached the 111th goal for Portugal and became the nation’s top scorer, beating Iranian Ali Daei. Defender Egan scored for Ireland.
With the result, Portugal maintains the lead in Group A, with ten points — three more than Serbia, which has a game in hand. Ireland has not yet scored.
In the next round, Portugal will face Azerbaijan, away from home, on Tuesday. Before that, the Portuguese have a friendly on Saturday against Qatar. Ireland, on the other hand, returns to the field on Saturday, also against Azerbaijan, in the Qualifiers.
CR7 guarantees victory with 2 goals at the end
Whoever has Cristiano Ronaldo has a chance until the end. And today’s game was proof of that. The striker scored in the 43rd and 50th minutes of the second half and ensured the heroic comeback for Portugal – he scored the goals in two accurate headers.
The plot, however, could have been smoother. CR7 missed a penalty in the 14th minute when he stopped in defense of 19-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
Ireland sees 1st win escape
Ireland saw a chance to win their first qualifiers match escape in the final minutes. The team had taken advantage of the lack of Portuguese creativity in the first half to open the scoring just before the break. In the 44th minute of the first, Egan climbed high in a corner kick from the left and turned his head to put the Irish team ahead.
The advantage changed the pace of the game. Portugal went forward in the second stage, but struggled to overcome the Irish defence. It was only two minutes from normal time that Ireland saw CR7 and company react for an impressive comeback.