Ronaldo Scores Hat-Trick As Portugal Thrashes Luxembourg

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A 58th career hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Portugal thrash Luxembourg 5-0 in Group A of UEFA’s Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Algarve on Tuesday.

The treble, which meant Ronaldo became the first man to net 10 international hat-tricks, takes his tally to 115 international goals from 182 caps as he continues to pull away as the top men’s international goalscorer of all-time.

Portugal had the game all but won within the first 18 minutes. Ronaldo struck twice from the penalty spot to give the home side a commanding lead.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo (7) scores penalty against Luxembourg

Then his Manchester United team mate Bruno Fernandes made it three as he fired in following good work from Bernardo Silva.

The forward then missed two gilt-edged chances either side of the break as he sought a third, before being denied a spectacular hat-trick goal when Anthony Moris kept out his acrobatic overhead kick.

Portugal did not have to wait long for their fourth, however, as midfielder Joao Palhinha headed in from the resulting corner with just over 20 minutes to go. Ronaldo was not to be denied as the hosts pushed on, netting three minutes from time with a header from close range.

Victory ensures Portugal remain a point behind leaders Serbia, who moved onto 17 points with a 3-1 home win over Azerbaijan, with a game in hand and superior goal difference.

Next month Fernando Santos’s Portugal side travel to Ireland before then hosting Serbia in what could be a winner-takes-all fixture to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

UEFA World Cup qualifying results

Portugal 5-0 Luxembourg

Serbia 3-1 Azerbaijan

Kosovo 1-2 Georgia

Sweden 2-0 Greece

Bulgaria 2-1 Northern Ireland

Lithuania 0-4 Switzerland

Kazakhstan 0-2 Finland

Ukraine 1-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Denmark 1-0 Austria

Faroe Islands 0-1 Scotland

Israel 2-1 Moldova

Albania 0-1 Poland

England 1-1 Hungary

San Marino 0-3 Andorra

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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