Ronaldo scores 4 goals in Portugal's easy win over Lithuania
Cristiano Ronaldo (3-R) of Portugal celebrates with teammates after scoring one of his four goals during a Euro 2020 Group B qualifying match between Lithuania and Portugal in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 10, 2019. EPA-EFE/ANTONIO COTRIM
Joao Felix of Portugal reacts during a Euro 2020 Group B qualifying match between Lithuania and Portugal in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 10, 2019. EPA-EFE/ANTONIO COTRIM
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) and Rui Patricio during a Euro 2020 Group B qualifying match between Lithuania and Portugal in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 10, 2019. EPA-EFE/VALDA KALINA
Vilnius, Sep 10 (efe-epa).- Portugal routed Lithuania 5-1 here Tuesday night in Euro 2020 Group B qualifying action thanks to four goals by Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
With his latest scoring barrage, the 34-year-old Ronaldo now has 93 goals in 160 appearances with the Portuguese national squad and has further solidified his position as Europe's all-time leading international goal scorer.
The 34-year-old forward got his side off to a strong start when he converted a penalty opportunity in just the seventh minute of the contest at LFF Stadium in Vilnius.
But Lithuania equalized in the 28th minute when defender Vytautas Andriuskevicius, who plays in Kazakhstan's first division, headed the ball into the back of the net off of a corner kick.
Although the night belonged to Ronaldo, Portuguese rising star Joao Felix made his presence felt as the visitors seized full control of the contest late in the first half.
The Atletico Madrid forward fired a long-range blast in the 33rd minute that forced Lithuanian net minder Ernestas Setkus to come up with a remarkable save, while three minutes later the home goalie did well to clear away a cross-shot by the 19-year-old.
But Lithuania were only able to stymie the Euro 2016 champions for the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Ronaldo's second goal came on a bouncing shot just after the one-hour mark that took a tricky hop as Setkus was trying to corral it and ended up in the back of the net, while his third came on a right-footed volley off a pass from Bernardo Silva in minute 67.
Silva also set up Ronaldo's final goal, which came in minute 76 when the five-time Ballon d'Or winner sent a first-touch shot inside the far upright.
Ronaldo, who was applauded by the Lithuanian fans when he exited the game two minutes later, watched from the sideline as teammate William Carvalho bounced a shot in traffic just past the outstretched arm of Setkus during second-half stoppage time.
With the win, Portugal (eight points with four of their eight group-stage contests completed) are in second place in Group B behind Ukraine (13 points), although Ronaldo and company have a game in hand.
1 - Lithuania: Ernestas Setkus; Saulius Mikoliunas, Markus Palionis, Edvinas Girdvainis, Vytautas Andriuskevicius; Domantas Simkus, Mantas Kuklys (Arturas Zulpa, min. 69), Modestas Vorobjovas, Ovidijus Verbickas (Donatas Kazlauskas, min. 77), Vykintas Slivka; Karolis Laukzemis (Deimantas Petravicius, min. 66).
5 - Portugal: Rui Patrício; João Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Ruben Neves, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes (Rafa Silva, min. 56); Bernardo Silva (Pizzi, min. 88), João Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo (Gonçalo Guedes, min. 78).
Goals: 0-1, min. 7: Ronaldo; 1-1, min. 28: Andriuskevicius; 1-2, min. 61: Ronaldo; 1-3, min. 67: Ronaldo; 1-4, min. 76: Ronaldo: 1-5, min 92: William Carvalho.
Referee: Bas Nijhuis, who did not show any yellow cards.
The match at Vilnius' LFF Stadium was a Group B qualifying contest for the Euro 2020. EFE-EPA