LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo continued his record-breaking form for Portugal as he grabbed two more goals in his country's 6-0 thrashing of Luxembourg in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Sunday, giving them a second win in four days.
The 38-year-old grabbed a double against Liechtenstein on Thursday and scored twice more in Luxembourg to extend his record tally of international goals to 122 in 198 appearances.
Joao Felix, Bernando Silva, Otavio and Rafael Leao added the other goals to put Portugal top of Group J after an easy start to their qualifying campaign.
New coach Roberto Martinez restored Ronaldo to the starting line-up last week and kept faith with him for the match in Luxembourg, where it took only nine minutes for the veteran superstar to open the scoring as he touched home Nuno Mendes’s soaring header.
Joao Felix doubled the lead in the 15th minute, rising high to get onto the end of Silva’s cross. Silva then himself headed home a powerful effort three minutes later after being set up by Joao Palhinha.
Bruno Fernandes set up Ronaldo for the fourth, just past the half hour mark, with a ball over the defence that was finished with pin-point accuracy.
Luxembourg looked bedraggled in the first half but offered more resistance after the break before Rafael Leao’s looping cross allowed fellow substitute Otavio to head home Portugal’s fifth.
Ruben Neves, yet to score for Portugal, struck the crossbar with a 83rd minute freekick before a penalty was awarded straight after when Luxembourg captain Laurent Jans tripped Rafael Leao.
The AC Milan forward got up off the turf to take the kick but his effort was saved by Luxembourg keeper Anthony Moris.
But Rafael Leao ran half the length of the field to latch onto Reuben Neves’ pass and cut inside before squeezing the ball home for a 6-0 scoreline with two minutes remaining.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town, editing by Pritha Sarkar)