Cristiano Ronaldo started the match between Portugal and Ireland, this Wednesday (1st), in an uncharacteristic way, losing a penalty. It ended up defining a tasty turnaround and establishing a historic mark in national team football.
With a goal in the 44th minute and another in the 52nd minute of the second half, the 36-year-old forward defined the Portuguese victory by 2-1, at the Algarve stadium. In the duel, valid for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, he isolated himself as the top scorer for a national men’s team.
The ace placed 111 balls in the net with the shirt of Portugal. Thus, he left behind Ali Daei – who scored 109 goals for Iran between the 1990s and 2000s – whom he had equaled in the last edition of the Euro Cup, in June.
“It was a record I really wanted to break,” said the player, pleased with the fact that the brand had defined the hard-earned Portuguese triumph. “We knew the game would be very complicated. That’s football, the conditions are like that.”
The Irish went ahead in the 45th minute of the first half, with Egan’s header. And they kept the advantage until the very end, when Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to turn the confrontation to the hosts.
The number 7 shirt also tied the game with a header, in a precise finish after a cross by Gonçalo Guedes. The score was set in a similar move: João Mário raised the ball in the area, and the scorer anticipated the marking for another great header.
With the result, the red-green team reached ten points in four rounds and isolated themselves in the lead of Group A of the qualifiers. Serbia, with seven points and a game in hand, is in second place.