Portugal being a debutant team, who stepped on the field of the World Cup for the first time gave tough competition to the previous World Cup finalist of 2019, the Netherlands in their opening match although they lost the game with the score of only 1-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 99th international goal on Sunday as the defending champions Portugal inched Luxembourg 2-0 in a hard-fought away game to qualify for Euro 2020.
Notably, the Portugal skipper is 10 behind Iran legend Ali Daei’s tally of 109. The ongoing year has been terrific for the talisman as he has scored 14 goals for the national side so far.
Talking about the match, the 2016 Euro champions survived several early scares as they struggled on a rain-soaked pitch which was full of divots. As a result of it, Fernando Santos’s men had to battle hard to get the three desired points at the Josy Barthel stadium.
However, Bruno Fernandes drew the first blood in the 39th minute, riding on a stunning strike from outside the area to went past Luxembourg goalie Anthony Moris.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo opened his account in the 86th minute to seal the fate for the visitors. After Bernardo Silva’s shot was deflected by shot stopper Moris, Ronaldo, who was inside the box, timed his run and deposited the ball into the net, ensuring that Portugal were present for the eleventh consecutive time in a major national team competition.
Ronaldo, who struck his 99th goal for Portugal, has to wait until the next international break in March for the chance to become just the second male player to reach 100 international goals.
Notably, the Juventus forward struck his ninth international hat-trick – and the seventh since he turned 30 – on Thursday against Lithuania to set up the opportunity to hit a century on Sunday.