• Today
    June 24

  • 05:46 AM

Ronaldo hat-trick seals spot in Nations League final

REUTERS,

Added 05 June 2019

cristiano-ronaldo-for-portugal

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick. (Reuters)

PORTO – Evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, including two late goals, to give Portugal a 3-1 win over Switzerland in a Nations League semi-final featuring an extraordinary VAR incident on Wednesday.

Ronaldo blasted Portugal ahead from a free kick in the 25th minute, his first goal for his country for nearly a year, but the Swiss equalised with a penalty after halftime which will raise more questions over the use of the VAR system.

After a largely anonymous second half, Ronaldo suddenly sprang to life to by scoring twice in the last three minutes to complete the 53rd hat-trick of his career and the seventh for his country, showing that even at 34 he is always a threat.

His goals — his first for his country since last year’s World Cup in Russia - rescued Portugal after the Swiss had dominated for the final half hour and threatened to snatch a shock win.

“There’s no adjective to describe him,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos. “He’s a genius. You can be a genius in art, and in sculpture and he is a football genius.”

Switzerland got back into the match in extraordinary circumstances after halftime

Swiss midfielder Steven Zuber went down under a challenge from Nelson Semedo as he ran onto Xherdan Shaqiri’s through ball and appealed for a penalty but play continued.

Portugal then went straight down the other end and were awarded a penalty for a foul on Silva.

The referee, after consulting the video assistant, then decided to review the Swiss incident on the pitchside monitor and awarded them the spot kick.

The incident seemed to unsettle Portugal and the Swiss took control with Shaqiri, looking to make an impression after getting limited playing time for Liverpool this season, at the centre of their best moves.

Steven Zuber and Haris Seferovic both missed chances and the Swiss were then destroyed by Ronaldo at his most deadly

Bernardo Silva produced a low cross from the right and Ronaldo swept the ball home with his first touch to rescue his side in the 88th minute.

Two minutes later, he collected the ball on the counter-attack, twisted past his marker and curled the ball into the far corner for his 88th international goal in 157 appearances.

The Netherlands and England will play in the second semi-final tomorrow. (Reuters)

whatsapp-alerts-bloc

nations league, cristiano ronaldo, portugal, barbados nation, nationnews

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Are you complying with the water prohibition measures announced by the Barbados Water Authority?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM