Wednesday , August 10 2022
Ronaldo denied hattrick as Portugal thrash Switzerland in first Nations League win

Ronaldo denied hattrick as Portugal thrash Switzerland in first Nations League win

Cristiano Ronaldo was unstoppable in his return to his footballing birthplace, scoring twice in four minutes to hit a record 117 international goals.

The visitors thought they had struck first after just six minutes when Benefica’s Haris Seferovic scored from a Xherdan Shaqiri corner, but a VAR review revealed that Fabian Schar had handled the ball on delivery, cancelling the goal.

Schar was then shown a yellow card for an unnecessary challenge on Porto playmaker Otavio near the edge of the box.

Ronaldo, blasted the resulting freekick, low through the wall after his trademark puff of his cheeks, only for Gregor Kobel to save his effort with a deflection off Kevin Mbabu’s foot.

But in the blink of an eye, Portugal’s frustration turned into elation when the rebound dropped to Carvalho, who scored his fifth international goal.

The floodgates erupted as Ronaldo made it 2-0 with a superb finish following a combination play from Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Jota.

With Portugal in complete control, Ronaldo’s second goal came just four minutes later, when he tapped in a rebound after Jota’s shot was mishandled by Kobel, putting the game out of reach before halftime.

Ronaldo thought he had scored a hat-trick against the Swiss, as he capped off another sweeping counterattack shortly after half-time.

The elation, however, was gone in seconds, as Otavio had strayed offside during the build-up, much to Ronaldo’s dismay.

That didn’t matter much, as Cancelo quickly made it 4-0 by nicking the ball off the onrushing Kobel’s feet and passing into an empty net.

With Sunday’s victory, Portugal has now lost only once in 14 Nations League games, and has won eight of the 13 games played at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in this century.

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