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Sweden 0-2 Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo's centurion goal & other talking points | UEFA Nations League 2020-21

Portugal stroll past Sweden on the back of Ronaldo
Portugal stroll past Sweden on the back of Ronaldo's amazing double!
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 09 Sep 2020, 04:45 IST
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Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal blazed past Sweden with a 2-0 win tonight, as the Juventus star struck an amazing brace to surpass the 100-goal mark for his country.

After Gustav Svensson was sent off in the 43rd minute, Ronaldo fired in a majestic free-kick to break the deadlock before chipping a perfectly-weighted lob over Robin Olsen in the second-half to seal the tie.

The result leaves the defending champions at the top of League A Group 3 whereas the Blagult, after back-to-back defeats, are consigned to bottom of the table.

Here are the major talking points from the match:

Portugal's centurion has a world record in his sights

Ronaldo is now on 101 goals for Portugal, just eight behind Ali Daei
Ronaldo is now on 101 goals for Portugal, just eight behind Ali Daei's all-time record!

Ronaldo huffed and puffed, but eventually got his elusive 100th international goal for Portugal, making him just the second player in history and first-ever in Europe to hit the landmark figure for his national side.

He's been chipping away on the list of all-time scorers in international football by plundering goals at a phenomenal rate in the last few years, and has now been rewarded with his place in a unique piece of history.

What a spectacular way to rack up the century too! The Juventus superstar stood over another free-kick which had the same air of inevitability as that effort against Spain in the 2018 World Cup, letting rip another unstoppable howitzer into the top corner.

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With another brilliant chip in the second-half to round off his brace, the 34-year old edged closer to the world record of 109 Portugal goals. Ali Daei - he's coming for you!

Felix beats Kulusevski in the battle of apprentices

After scoring against Croatia, Felix turned provider, assisting Ronaldo
After scoring against Croatia, Felix turned provider, assisting Ronaldo's second goal

Joao Felix became the most expensive teenager of all time after his mega-money move to Atletico Madrid last year, whereas Dejan Kulusevski grabbed headlines for his Juventus transfer in July at the end of a phenomenal campaign in Serie A.

This match served up an interesting player-battle between two of the brightest and highy-rated young talents in Europe today, however, only the Portugal man showed up for the occasion.

Felix, on target against Croatia last week, was heavily involved in the proceedings for Portugal, keeping the attacking juices flowing with accurate passes in the final third and even attempting shots at goal, some of which were venomous.

He may not have found the back of the net, but his presence in the attack was palpable, even assisting Ronaldo for the second goal with a sublime cut back. Kulusevski, on the contrary, was virtually non-existent and unable to exert his influence.

The 20-year old midfielder was often raved about last season for his creative ingenuity, dribbling skills, passing accuracy and an eye for goal, none of which were on display at the Friends Arena.

With zero shots attempted - let alone direct one at goal - Kulusevski also had a fairly disastrous 49% passing accuracy and lacked the confidence on the ball he otherwise exudes with aplomb, being dispossessed several times.

As this was just his second cap for the Blagult, could this inexperience at the international stage mean he's still only acclimatising to the Swedish set-up? Maybe, but this shows he isn't quite ready to be the talisman of this side yet.

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Published 09 Sep 2020, 04:45 IST
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