Twitter explodes as Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal keep 2022 FIFA World Cup dream alive with playoff win over Turkey

Portugal are through to the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff final
Portugal are through to the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff final

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal qualified for the playoff final for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after a 3-1 win over Turkey on Thursday. Fernando Santos' men raced to a 2-0 lead in the first half, but were ultimately made to sweat by the visitors at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.

Otavio opened the scoring for Portugal as early as the 15th minute. Joao Moutinho released Cristiano Ronaldo with an excellent pass before the Manchester United man squared the ball to Diogo Jota, who then found Raphael Guerreiro.

Although Guerreiro's attempt struck the woodwork, the rebound fell kindly to the onrushing Otavio as he buried the ball into the back of the net.

Ot谩vio in the first half vs. Turkey: 100% chance conversion 29 touches 5 duels won 2 chances created 2 fouls won 1 tackle 1 take-on 1 shot 1 goal 1 assist Involved in both goals. 馃憦

The opening goal raised the decibel levels at the stadium and the home crowd were treated to more of the same just before the half-time interval. Otavio turned provider this time around as he whipped in a delightful cross for Jota, who leaped high and planted a downward header past Ugurcan Cakir in goal for Turkey.

The hosts were 2-0 up at half-time and it seemed they would be comfortable winners in the end. However, Turkey refused to throw in the towel and were rewarded in the 65th minute.

Veteran striker Burak Yilmaz produced an excellent exchange with Cengiz Under before firing the ball past Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa. Stefan Kuntz's men sensed the possibility of a comeback and had Cristiano Ronaldo's team on a knife's edge.

Turkey were then handed a lifeline in the 85th minute when Jose Fonte was adjudged via VAR to have fouled Enes Unal inside the penalty area. Yilmaz stepped up in the hope of converting the spot-kick and restoring parity for Turkey, but his effort blazed over the cross-bar.

Matheus Nunes seals FIFA World Cup playoff semi-final win as Cristiano Ronaldo hits cross-bar for Portugal

Eventually, the hosts sealed the win as second-half substitute Matheus Nunes found the back of the net in the 90th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo even hit the cross-bar right at the end as he was denied the opportunity to get on the scoresheet.

Irrespective of his failure to find the back of the net, Ronaldo would be extremely happy with the result. Portugal will now face North Macedonia, who shockingly beat Italy 1-0 in the other semi-final, in the playoff final.

On that note, here are some of the best tweets as Fernando Santos' men moved one step closer to the 2022 FIFA World Cup:

Ronaldo in the hole tonight has been superb. Makes you think how great he would have been this season under the system at City.
Moutinho and Bernardo in midfield is sweet 馃
Ronaldo turning up to todays game
Every Ronaldo fan watching Jota playing a selfish game
I won鈥檛 lie, Joao Moutinho is unplayable
This is all I see on that goal from Fonte
this would鈥檝e been an easy game for portugal if they weren鈥檛 without ruben dias and joao cancelo
@kilec57 @433 Cr7 > turkish football history
Make Bruno Fernandes 2020 again
Football god's giving justice to Ronaldo and Portugal 鉁岋笍
What the heck was that Yilmaz?馃槓馃槓 #PORTUR
That turkey pen just landed in my backyard #PORTUR
How comes that this guy still Portugal's coach?!!#PORTUR
Turkey penalty landed in my garden.. #PORTUR
The Gods Above will not let Cristiano Ronaldo miss the World Cup
fernando santos the luckiest man alive
Cristiano Ronaldo will prove that he is the most clutch player of all time in the decider game vs Macedonia to lead his nation to the World Cup. 馃悙
Ronaldo seeing Italy lost to North Macedonia馃槶馃槀
Yilmaz was like " There is no way 馃悙 doesn't play in the world Cup " with that penalty. 馃槀馃槀 #PORTUR
Ronaldo after checking Italy scores馃ぃ馃ぃ#ronaldo
Diogo Jota has scored five goals in World Cup 2022 qualifying for Portugal: 鈼 Header 鈼 Header 鈼 Header 鈼 Header 鈼 Header Lethal in the air. 鉁堬笍

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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