Ronaldo saves the day
It has been almost always the same plot for Portugal....a hardly impressive performance and Ronaldo saves the day with some brilliant goals.
It was a historic night at Windsor Park, and Cristiano Ronaldo has always had a strong sense of history. As Northern Ireland prepared to get the bulldozers in and revamp their national stadium, Portugal's captain was aiming to equal Eusebio's record of 41 international goals -- as the country's second highest all-time scorer -- at the very ground where A Pantera Negra scored his final goal for his country in March 1973.
|Can Ronaldo continue to save Portugal?|
At one point, Portugal were 2-1 down and a man down. Portugal were in real trouble. There were given a lifeline thanks to a moment of madness by Chris Brunt, whose lunging tackle on Joao Pereira earned him a second yellow right on the hour making in ten-a-side, but Ronaldo still emerged to make a difference on a night which seemed destined to be inauspicious.
Ronaldo was not given a very pleasant treatment, with a hail of boos from the off, follow by a few rounds of 'Messi' before the Windsor stands swelled to a chorus of 'You're just a cheap Gareth Bale.'
Then the magic seems to work...his imperious near-post header from a Moutinho corner, then with another from a central position from a Coentrao cross - with an overworked defence distracted by the significant presence of the impressive substitute Nelson Oliveira. The hat-trick followed with a driven free-kick through a flimsy defensive wall.
So, Ronaldo continues to save the day but how long can Portugal survive with this sort of display?