Cristiano Ronaldo became the top scorer in men’s international football with two late goals as Portugal beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1, while Holders France beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-1 in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Drawn from 1.
A day after completing his return to Manchester United, Ronaldo saved an early penalty from young goalkeeper Gavin Bazono before Ireland took the lead at half-time.
John Egan’s brilliant header gave Stephen Kenny’s side a famous victory, but Ronaldo broke the Irish hearts with an equalizer in the 89th minute – a goal that left him behind Ali Dye’s 109 record. Given
Ronaldo, 36, then snatched all three of Portugal’s points in the sixth minute of injury time, with Joao Mario’s right-arm cross gaining the most power in the header.
“This record is mine and it’s unique. I’m very happy and it’s another record for my career,” Ronaldo told RTP Public Television.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner equaled Sergio Ramos’ European mark of 180 caps.
Ronaldo said: “(Encouraged by the desire to keep playing football, even from the last contract I signed (at Manchester United), in which I was happy to be back home.”
“Goals, shows and winning titles, that’s what I like most.”
Portugal are top of Group A with 10 points from four matches, while Serbia are just three points behind with one game to spare.
The group winners automatically qualify for next year’s final in Qatar, with the runner-up advancing to the playoffs.
France, playing for the first time since losing to Switzerland in the last 16 of Euro 2020, fell behind in Strasbourg when Eden Zico fired a rifle in less than 20 yards.
Antoine Griezmann equalized when Zico’s header from a corner pushed France forward and bounced just above the line, but the hosts saw Jules Cuonde leave early in the second half to deal with a recklessness.
France have a four-point lead over Ukraine in Group D, conceding their last breathless goal in a 2-2 draw against Kazakhstan. Finland is six points behind but has two games left.
“The qualifying stages are difficult,” said France coach Didier Deschamps, who has to go to Kiev to face Ukraine.
“We have to be satisfied with the draw given what happened. We have one more point, there is a lot more available and Saturday’s match is coming very soon.”
Earling Netherlands drew their first World Cup qualifying goal 1-1 against the Netherlands in Oslo, Norway.
The Dutch Scrappy final gave Norway the lead in the 20th minute, but Davy Klaassen equalized before the break as Louis van Gaal started the third round in charge of the Dutch national team.
One point separates the top four teams in Group G, with Turkey leading the way despite a two-goal lead at 2-2 at home to Montenegro.
Croatia, runners-up in the 2018 World Cup, drew 0-0 with Russia and outscored their opponents by a goal difference as Group H leaders Slovakia are one point behind after a 1-1 draw with Slovenia.
Daniel Vass and Joachim Mehle scored two quick goals as Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark beat Scotland 2-0 to win four of the four matches in Group F.
Erin Zahvi’s 4-0 victory in the Faroe Islands is followed by a hat-trick from Israel. Austria are level on points after a 2-0 win over Moldova.
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