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2018 World Cup Qualifying: Ronaldo scores brace for European champs in win


11-14-2016 10:45 BJT

Portugal, and Cristiano Ronaldo would host Latvia in World Cup qualifying. The European champs needed a win to try and keep pace with Switzerland who lead Group B.

In the 28th minute, the Real Madrid striker finds Nani cutting into the area. The latter is tripped to win a penalty for the hosts.

Ronaldo converts from the spot to open the scoring for Portugal.

Portugal come close just before the break, but Ronaldo who is sent clear against the keeper is whistled for being offside. But the replay shows he just beats the offside trap before cutting forward with outstanding speed. Portugal lead 1-0 at half-time.

They win another penalty in the 58th minute when Andre Gomes is tripped in the box.

But this time Ronaldo misses from 12 yards. The ball hit the inside of the post and the keeper and stays out.

It looks a costly miss as Arturs Zjuzins equalises for Latvia in the 68th minute.

But William Carvalho heads Portugal back in front two minutes later. It's 2-1.

Ronaldo then makes amends to volley the third. Bruno Alves would complete the 4-1 win for Portugal. They now stay on second of the group.


In Group H, Belgium host Estonia. Thomas Meunier heads Belgium in front only eight minutes into the match.

After 16 minutes, Dries Mertens fires from outside the area, and the ball takes a  deflection for the second goal for the hosts.

In the 25th, thanks to a swift attacking move, Eden Hazard fires in from the near post. It's 3-0. Belgium cruising.

But Estonia pull one back just before the half-hour. Henri Anier turns and beats Thibaut Courtois with a low shot. It's 3-1 at the break.

Belgium score five after the break, including two from Remelu Lukaku. They finally beat Estonia 8-1 to seize top spot in Group H.

Belgium have 12 points from four games, two ahead of second-placed Greece who were held 1-1 at home by Bosnia. Portugal stay second in Group B with nine points, three behind leaders Switzerland who beat the Faroe Islands 2-0. In Group A, the Netherlands won 3-1 at Luxembourg to climb on second place with seven points, three behind leaders France.

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