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European Qualifiers, Lithuania 1-5 Portugal: 3 Talking points 

Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.57K   //    11 Sep 2019, 04:13 IST

Portugal defeated Lithuania 5-1
Portugal defeated Lithuania 5-1

After defeating Serbia 4-2 during the last round of qualifying fixtures, Portugal travelled to Lithuania and trounced the hosts 5-1.

The Seleccao had entered the latest FIFA international window off the pace in group B, having started their qualification campaign with two draws. However, they have rallied back and now have their destiny in their hands.

Cristiano Ronaldo put the visitors ahead in the seventh minute when he converted from the spot but they were quickly pegged back by Vytautas Andriuskev, who equalized for the home side.

From then on, it was all Portugal, as a further four goals were scored to move them up to second place in the group and five points behind Ukraine. Moreover, the Portuguese have a game in hand.

This victory would help build momentum for Portugal and they are firmly in the driving seat to qualify, thereby allowing them the opportunity to defend their European crown next year. In this piece, we shall be highlighting three talking points from Portugal's victory over Lithuania.


#3 Cristiano Ronaldo: The difference maker

Ronaldo helped himself to four goals
Ronaldo helped himself to four goals

Having taken a well deserved break from the international scene after the World Cup last year, Cristiano Ronaldo made a return during the EURO qualifiers in March. But, he was powerless to stop his nation from posting two successive draws, with an injury hampering his contribution.

He returned to the fold in June and spearheaded Portugal's quest to claim the first ever Nations League title and he has proved his importance once again during the latest round of qualifiers.

The 34-year-old icon was named the Portuguese Player of the Year for the 10th time earlier in the month and a lot of furore was raised over his award, with many feeling Bernardo Silva was a more deserving recipient.

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While we shall not go into the merits or demerits of Ronaldo winning the award, the Juventus talisman is still the most important player in the history of Portuguese football and this status holds true 15 years after he made his international bow.

If there was any doubt about his importance to the national team, Ronaldo's performances during the last week have helped silence those skeptics.

He had starred in the defeat of Serbia, weighing in with one goal, but he took his goal-scoring prowess several notches higher in the game against Lithuania.

He opened the scoring from the spot, but with parity restored, Ronaldo took it upon himself to single-handedly decide the outcome of the game, scoring a further three goals to put daylight between Portugal and their opponents.

The quartet marked his 54th career hat-trick, moving him onto 93 goals for Portugal and ever closer to Iran's Ali Daei's all-time record of 109.



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