Euro 2016 winners Portugal won their ninth Euro 2024 qualifiers game in 9 fixtures after a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein on Thursday evening. The Portuguese, who have already secured a place in the 2024 Euro championships in Germany, were held to a goalless draw in the first half in Vaduz until the second half when Ronaldo opened the scoring with an awesome goal.
The goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 46th minute is his 77th international goal since his 30th birthday. In total, it was a world record-extending 128th international goal for Portugal as they beat the minnows.
Eleven minutes later, Joao Cancelo hit the second goal for Portugal to seal the victory. Portugal currently tops Group J with 27 points, 34 goals scored, and two goals conceded.
Roberto Martinez’s side will hope to keep the defensive record that way when they face Iceland on Sunday.
Other matches in the Group on Thursday saw Slovakia beat Iceland 4-2 to secure their Euro 2024 slot ahead of Luxembourg, who beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-1.
Other results on Thursday from elsewhere in Europe saw Montenegro beat Lithuania 2-0. In Group A, already qualified Scotland drew 2-2 in Georgia thanks to a late Lawrence Shankland’s goal.
Bulgaria and Hungary finished their game with a man down each and still managed to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw. The result confirmed Hungary’s slot in the competition.
Azerbaijan and Sweden played their game for formality’s sake, with neither side having any chance of qualification. It was the home side, Azerbaijan, who won in a convincing 3-0 win.
Games continue on Friday as England hosts Malta, Italy faces North Macedonia, Poland faces Czech, Denmark hosts Slovenia, Finland welcomes Northern Ireland, Moldova plays Albania, and Kazakhstan hosts minnows San Marino in the first game of the day.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu