Cristiano Ronaldo became the highest goal scorer in Men’s international football history. An impressive feat to add to his already long list of records. His last gasp brace sealed a terrific comeback to overcome the Irish team.
His new club teammate Bruno Fernandes picked Jeff Hendrix’s pocket after a poor pass before being fouled to win a penalty. After a lengthy VAR review, up stepped the legend but he was denied by 19-year-old Gavin Bazunu. A red-faced moment for Ronaldo and a heroic moment for the Irish Youngster.
Joao Cancelo would pick out Diogo Jota but the Liverpool forward could only find the frame of the goal from close range. Ireland rode their luck and slowly grew into the game. They would eventually punish Portugal’s wastefulness in front of the goal. On the stroke of Half time, John Egan connected with a Jamie McGrath corner and beat Rui Patricio at the far corner for his first-ever international goal.
Ireland tried to protect their lead. Chances against Portugal don’t come easy and when you take your chance you have to protect it. They looked resolute and hard to break down. Their low block made it hard for Fernando Santos’s men to create clear-cut chances. Bernardo Silva came the closest to a leveler in the 74th minute. Ronaldo’s cross flew past the Irish defense and fell kindly for the Manchester City man but he blazed his shot over from inside the box.
Ireland looked certain to take all 3 points away from their hosts but their resistance was breached in the dying moments of the match. Goncalo Guedes’ cross would meet the trademark Ronaldo leap to break Irish hearts as CR7 headed past the heroic Bazunu. Stephen Kenny’s men had defended the game well all along. Ronaldo only needed a sniff to score for the 110th time in Portugal colors. A tally that officially made him the all-time highest goal scorer in international men’s football.
If you offered Stephen Kenny and his Irish team a draw before the match, they would have taken it. A point wouldn’t have been a bad result for Ireland. Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo weren’t finished. He would again, in typical Ronaldo-esque manner, connect with a Joao Mario cross from the right to beat Bazunu and steal all 3 points for Fernando Santos’ men. His second of the game also beat his record and now took his tally to 111 international goals.
The heroic Irish rearguard had been shattered with seconds to spare, handing Portugal what seemed like an unlikely victory.