Portugal vs. Liechtenstein – Soccer Match Report – March 24, 2023 – ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty and hit a free kick to set a brand new report for many caps in Portugal’s 4-0 win over Liechtenstein of their first Euro 2024 qualifier on Thursday.

Ronaldo celebrated his 197th cap, beating Kuwait Badr Al Mutawawith a double within the return to the beginning eleven for the Group J tie on the José Alvalade Stadium.

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He transformed a penalty within the 51st minute, his first aim towards the small Alpine principality, as the house crew gained 3-0 and added the fourth with a signature free kick that folded the arms of visiting goalkeeper Benjamin Buchel.

After the match, Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “What a superb feeling to play once more and rating for our crew and in a particular stadium for me. Proud to be the participant with probably the most caps.”

Joao Cancelo had put Portugal within the lead within the eighth minute with a long-range half-volley that missed barely by way of a crowd of gamers, however Portugal had been annoyed by the guests’ strong protection.

Seventy seconds into the second half, nevertheless, Bernardo Silva he picked up a free ball after Cancelo stopped the drive in the direction of aim and completed it off for a 2-0 lead.

Ronaldo, who turned 38 final month, transformed a penalty after Cancelo was introduced down earlier than his blistering free kick within the 63rd minute prolonged his report for many worldwide soccer objectives to 120.

Earlier, the Portugal captain, eliminated within the 78th minute earlier than he may rating a hat trick, missed sensible probabilities when he dodged the ball in entrance of aim and deflected a deflected header.

Ronaldo had been benched by former coach Fernando Santos for Portugal’s final two matches on the World Cup final 12 months in Qatar, the place they misplaced within the quarterfinals to Morocco. Former Belgium coach Roberto Martinez changed Santos and was in command of his first recreation as Portugal supervisor.

“It was very, very optimistic,” Martinez instructed Portuguese tv.

“It was an apparent subsequent step due to the angle and the work we did in coaching. It’s all the time very troublesome to play these sorts of video games, they’re ‘cheat video games’, however the best way we performed with the ball and the way we stifled the hazard of Liechtenstein was essential.”

Ronaldo presently performs for Saudi membership Al Nassr after a bitter departure from Manchester United forward of the World Cup, however Martinez mentioned the door was nonetheless open for the nation’s largest star to proceed with the nationwide crew.

“It’s a brand new cycle. It’s essential {that a} participant exhibits dedication and that we will use his expertise, and Cristiano exhibits it,” added Martínez.