Cristiano Ronaldo marked his 200th game for Portugal on Tuesday in Iceland with an 89th-minute winner to remain top of Group J with 12 points from four matches.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner accomplished a new entry into the Guinness Book of Records, almost 20 years to the day since he made his debut against Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003. The then 18-year-old came on for another legendary Portuguese No. 7, Luis Figo.
On Tuesday, when Ronaldo led his country out in Reykjavik, he was looking for a 123rd goal, which he accomplished in dramatic fashion as VAR needed almost three minutes to confirm the goal. Another veteran, Pepe, 40, made his 136th appearance as new manager Roberto Martinez searched for a fourth consecutive victory.
Ronaldo crashed a header against the crossbar in the 49th minute as Portugal pushed for the opening goal.
In the 82nd minute, Ronaldo was rightly booked for diving as Portugal got more desperate for a winning goal after Willum Willumsson was shown a second yellow card in the 80th minute. Four minutes from time, Ronaldo hand-balled in the Iceland box as he sought to control a floated ball. Ronaldo finally got the ball in the net in the 89th minute off a cushioned header from substitute Goncalo Inacio.
Martinez remains unbeaten in four matches as Portugal’s manager with the Selacao yet to concede in the four matches.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999