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    Cristiano Ronaldo returns as Portugal blanks Algeria in friendly before World Cup

    Jun 8, 2018
    Cristiano Ronaldo is all smiles under the rain as Portugal warmed up before the World Cup. AP

    LISBON, Portugal — With Cristiano Ronaldo back in action, Portugal cruised to a 3-0 win over Algeria in its final warmup match before traveling to Russia for the World Cup.

    Ronaldo, who hadn't played since leading Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League title last month, set up one of Portugal's goals at the Stadium of Light. He also had one disallowed for offside before being substituted in the 75th minute.

    Ronaldo joined Portugal's squad on Monday, later than the rest of the squad, because of the Champions League final.

    Portugal opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a shot from inside the area by Goncalo Guedes after a nice head-pass by Bernardo Silva. Bruno Fernandes added to the lead in the 37th with a close-range header after a well-placed left-footed cross by Ronaldo, and Guedes netted his second goal early in the second half with a header after a cross by Raphael Guerreiro from the left side.

    Portugal scored another goal near the end but it was called off by video review because of a hand-ball by Guedes.

    "We played well, but there's still a lot to improve," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "We are not where we want to be but we will be improving during the tournament."

    Portugal, which will travel to Russia on Saturday, had already played two other warm-up matches, drawing Tunisia 2-2 and Belgium 0-0.

    Santos will take 13 players to Russia who helped the team win its first major title at the European Championship two years ago in France.

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    Portugal will begin its World Cup campaign against Iberian rival Spain on June 15 in Sochi. Its other Group B matches will be against Morocco and Iran.

    Algeria did not qualify for the World Cup.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo is all smiles under the rain as Portugal warmed up before the World Cup. AP
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