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Cristiano Ronaldo Hits Late Winner on 200th Cap

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Cristiano Ronaldo Hits Late Winner on 200th Cap

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Portugal triumphed over Iceland with a 1-0 victory in a Euro 2024 qualifying match. This win extended Portugal’s flawless record in Group J, solidifying their position at the top. However, the historic significance of the night extended beyond the team’s success, as Ronaldo achieved an unprecedented milestone by becoming the first player ever to make 200 international appearances.

Even before this momentous match, Ronaldo had already surpassed the previous record for most international appearances held by Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa, who had played 196 matches. Ronaldo achieved this feat during Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein back in March. With each appearance, Ronaldo continued to etch his name into the annals of football history.

The encounter between Portugal and Iceland proved to be a tough and closely contested battle. Despite Portugal’s dominance in the early stages of the match, Iceland gradually seized control of the game. During the first half, Iceland had two excellent opportunities to take the lead, with defender Victor Palsson and full-back Hordur Magnusson threatening Portugal’s defense. The Portuguese side, however, responded resolutely after halftime, gradually regaining their rhythm and composure on the field.


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Match Highlights

As the minutes ticked away, both teams intensified their efforts to secure a victory. The tension in the stadium heightened when Willum Thor Willumsson of Iceland was sent off with a second yellow card in the 81st minute. With a man advantage, Portugal seized the opportunity to increase their pressure on the Icelandic defense. It was at this critical juncture that Ronaldo stepped forward, showcasing his prowess and ability to influence the outcome of matches.

In the 89th minute, Ronaldo initially thought he had scored the winning goal from close range. However, the referee disallowed the goal, citing an offside infraction. The jubilation in the stands turned to disappointment, as it seemed that Portugal’s hopes of securing all three points were dashed. However, thanks to the implementation of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology, the decision was reviewed. Upon closer inspection, it became evident that Ronaldo had been fractionally onside, leading to the reversal of the referee’s initial ruling. The goal was awarded, setting off a wave of elation among the Portuguese fans and securing Ronaldo’s 123rd international goal—a testament to his remarkable scoring ability and his status as the all-time leading international goalscorer.

With this victory, Portugal maintained their position at the top of Group J with 12 points. They held a two-point lead over second-placed Slovakia, who had also emerged triumphant with a 1-0 away win against Liechtenstein earlier on the same day. The intensity of the qualifying campaign continued to grow, and the battle for a coveted spot in the Euro 2024 tournament became even more intriguing.

As the final whistle blew, the Portuguese team celebrated their hard-fought victory, buoyed by Ronaldo’s exceptional performance and his record-breaking accomplishment. Their journey towards Euro 2024 remained on course, fueled by their unwavering determination to succeed. The fans reveled in the triumph, recognizing the significance of witnessing a living legend continue to etch his name into the record books of football history.


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