PARIS: Cristiano Ronaldo helped Portugal create a 3-1 win over Luxembourg just moments ago with his first goal in the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Juventus striker Ronaldo blasted his 103rd goal in international competition five minutes after the break to prevent a well-placed Luxembourg from denying their status as a dwarf team from a small country.
Ronaldo was denied the winning goal in extra time in a draw with Serbia in Belgrade on Sunday but he could not be stopped when he connected on a Joao Cancelo cross.
Luxembourg had beaten the Republic of Ireland earlier and another shock result could have come when Gerson Rodrigues put the hosts ahead through a header in the first half of Group A competition near the Josy Barthel Stade.
Diogo Jota equalized for the European champions before the end of the first half with a close -range header after finding a Pedro Neto cross.
Ronaldo put Portugal ahead before Joao Palhinha added a third that saved Portugal and put them in the top spot, seven points clear of Serbia, who won 2-1 against Azerbaijan thanks to two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The 36 -year -old Ronaldo is now six goals less than the all -time record held by Iranian Ali Daei who scored 109 international goals.
“The goal in the first half came at a bad moment,” Luxembourg coach Luc Holtz said.
“That was the moment of change because I wanted to go back to the locker room at 1-0. After that the quality of the individual made it different.”