When Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty in the fifteenth minute and after that, the Republic of Ireland went ahead, the Irish fans smelt a famous victory. And, there were reactions from the Irish fans towards Cristiano Ronaldo – they whistled towards him, but they forgot it’s not finished yet until and unless Cristiano Ronaldo decides when it would end.

The build-up to the match was dominated by the prospect of Ronaldo breaking the international goals mark.

That moment seemed to have arrived when Jeff Hendrick’s foul on Bruno Fernandes offered Ronaldo his penalty opportunity but the spot-kick was a good height to the Republic keeper’s right who spread himself to make the save.

During the lengthy VAR review, Ronaldo looked fortunate to avoid sanction from Slovenian referee Matej Jug, when he appeared to slap Republic defender Dara O’Shea after he had kicked the ball off the penalty spot as the Portuguese star waited to take the spot-kick.

While Ronaldo’s 15th-minute penalty miss was followed by Liverpool striker Diogo Jota heading against the woodwork when it seemed easier to score, the Republic always looked threatening on the break with the pace of strikers Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah causing concerns for jittery-looking home defence.

Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score from the penalty spot for Portugal for the first time in seven attempts.

After several earlier promising openings had come to nothing, Connolly was then denied by Portugal keeper Patricio in first-half injury-time but debutant Jamie McGrath’s resultant corner was glanced in at the near post by Sheffield United defender Egan.

Tactically, the Irish were sound in the first half as they compressed the middle of the pitch, forcing the home side to attempt to probe via the flanks.

Seamus Coleman, in his right wing-back role, bombed forward on several occasions to cause panic in a Portuguese defence where centre-back Pepe looked particularly ill at ease.

O’Shea, after his earlier spat with Ronaldo, was soon forced off by injury as Norwich defender Andrew Omobamidele was introduced for his international debut.

The Irish continued to test the Portugal backline with Connolly inches away from doubling their lead with a 59th-minute volley, as the Brighton’s striker’s claims that he had been fouled by Joao Cancelo in the process fell on deaf ears.

But with the Irish tiring, Portugal began to monopolize possession as attempts began to rain in on Bazunu’s goal.

Bernardo Silva, who joined Manchester City club-mates Cancelo and Ruben Dias in Portugal starting team, looked certain to equalize in the 74th minute but somehow contrived to blaze over the bar from eight yards out.

Ronaldo was cutting a frustrating figure but from nowhere, he burst into the scene.

In the 88th minute, Bazunu pushed away a Ronaldo free-kick from the edge of the box after Josh Cullen had been adjudged to have handled while attempting to block a shot.

But moments after the resultant corner, Portugal fashioned Ronaldo’s equaliser and after James McClean had tested Patricio at the other end, the Manchester United superstar’s second trademark header snatched the home team’s victory in the sixth minute of injury-time after five extra minutes had been signalled.

The Republic of Ireland are now 14 competitive games without a victory (D7 L7), their longest winless run.

Well, it was a night where Cristiano Ronaldo went right at the top by bagging another world record.

Cristiano Ronaldo broke the world record for goals scored in men’s international football as he hit his 110th and 111th goals for Portugal.

Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran between 1993 and 2006, held the record which Ronaldo equalled with a double against France at Euro 2020.

The Manchester United forward has also equalled Sergio Ramos’ European record for men’s caps – with his 180th Portugal appearance.

The world record – only ratified by FIFA this summer – is the 195 Malaysia caps won by Soh Chin Ann between 1969 and 1984.

Ronaldo, who rejoined United from Juventus on deadline day, and Daei are the only two male players to score 90 or more international goals.

“I’m so happy, not only because I beat the record, but for the special moment that we had,” he told RTE.

“Two goals at the end of the game. I have to appreciate what the team did, we believed until the end. I’m so glad.”

Cristiano Ronaldo is already the top scorer in club football’s top tournament, the European Cup/Champions League, a trophy he has won five times. He is also the top scorer in European Championship history (14) and in Euros and World Cups combined (21).

Almost half of Ronaldo’s goals have come in the final 30 minutes of games.

He has netted 33 times in the final 15 minutes – including twice against the Irish – and 22 times between the 61st and 75th minute.

Ronaldo has scored 17 times between minutes 16-30 and 16 times between 31-45, with 11 in the opening 15 minutes of the first half and 12 in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.

91 of his goals have been inside the box with 20 from outside. He has scored 14 penalties and nine free-kicks.

Lithuania and Sweden – seven each – are the sides he has scored the most against. He had not scored against the Republic of Ireland before Wednesday’s game in the Algarve.

The highlight of Ronaldo’s international career was undoubtedly winning Euro 2016, although he went off injured early in the final.

He has scored in two Euros semi-finals too, 12 years apart – against the Netherlands in 2004 and Wales in 2016.

His finest hour at a World Cup was a hat-trick against Spain in the group stages three years ago in Russia, including a late free-kick. That is one of his nine international hat-tricks – including one against Switzerland in the 2019 Uefa Nations League semi-finals.

Cristiano Ronaldo has also scored in all nine major tournaments he has played in – World Cups and European Championships. Including the Confederations Cup and Nations League, he has scored in 11 out of 11.

He won the Golden Boot at Euro 2020 with five goals in four games, beating five-goal Czech Patrik Schick on assists.


Ronaldo’s 111 goals in 180 games are well clear of Messi’s 76 in 151 – roughly 0.6 goals a game compared with 0.5.

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