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    Ronaldo fires 102nd goal in Portugal friendly, moves close to all-time mark

    Nov 12, 2020
    PHOTO: AP

    LISBON, Portugal — Cristiano Ronaldo scored once in Portugal's 7-0 rout of Andorra in a friendly on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time), moving a step closer to becoming the all-time top scorer for a national team.

    Ronaldo reached 102 goals with Portugal to sit seven shy of the 109 scored by former Iran striker Ali Daei, the only other male soccer player to surpass the 100-goal milestone for a national team. Ronaldo broke the century mark after scoring twice in Portugal's Nations League win over Sweden in October.

    Coming off a minor knee injury and having recently been sidelined by a positive COVID-19 result, Ronaldo entered the match after halftime at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon. He made it 6-0 with a close-range header in the 85th minute after having squandered a few good chances.

    He had replaced Pedro Neto, the 20-year-old Wolverhampton forward who was making his national team debut and opened the scoring for Portugal in the eighth minute. Paulinho, who was also making his Portugal debut, added to the lead in the 29th and Renato Sanches scored in the 56th.

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    Paulinho scored again in the 61st, and an own-goal by Andorra's Emili Garcia in the 76th made it 5-0. João Félix closed the scoring in the final minutes.

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    Portugal also had a goal disallowed by offside in the 71st.

    "It was what we expected," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "We faced a very defensive team and we had to be patient."

    Barcelona forward Francisco Trincão started up front and was flanked by Neto and Paulinho. Santos also handed a debut to central defender Domingos Duarte.

    "We wanted to give minutes to players, let them pick up some rhythm," Santos said.

    Portugal hosts France on Saturday in the Nations League, then visits Croatia on Tuesday. It trails Group B leader Ukraine by three points entering its final two matches in the European competition.
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    PHOTO: AP
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