Cristiano Ronaldo broke the men’s all-time international scoring record as his late goals secured a dramatic 2-1 win for Portugal in their World Cup Qualifier against the Republic of Ireland.
Heading into the 89th minute, Stephen Kenny and his side were on the cusp of a famous victory at the Estadio Algarve and their first points of the campaign.
They were two almost identical goals too, with Goncalo Guedes firing in the first cross which was nodded home by the Portugal captain (89) to break Ali Daei’s record. Then, with the last kick of the game, Joao Mario sent in a similar ball, which Ronaldo (90+6) again headed past Gavin Bazunu to take his tally to 111 international goals.
However, the new Manchester United signing did not begin the game well. It appeared to be an unlikely match-up when Ronaldo lined up a penalty in front of the Republic of Ireland’s 19-year-old goalkeeper early on, but Bazunu make an incredible save to deny the forward.
It took well over four minutes for VAR to decide whether the penalty would be taken too after Jeff Hendrick’s clumsy challenge on Bruno Fernandes, but it was deemed the Ireland midfielder did not touch enough of the ball before the man.
The Republic of Ireland matched up to their opponents well in the first half and deservedly went ahead on the stroke of half-time as Egan glanced a header home. However, Portugal dominated the second half and sucker-punched the Irish late on to extend their lead at the top of Group A by three points over second-place Serbia.