Cristiano Ronaldo continued his goalscoring spree for Portugal as he netted a 9th international hat-trick in a 6-0 drubbing of Lithuania in a Euro 2020 Qualifier match on Thursday. The defending champions now need to win against Luxembourg on Sunday to book their place for the next year’s showpiece event.
The hat-trick, 55th of Ronaldo’s career, has taken the Portuguese’s international tally to 98 goals and now two goals away from becoming just the second footballer to score hundred goals for his country. Pizzi, Gonçalo Paciência and Bernardo Silva were the other goal-scorers in the Group B clash.
In another one-sided encounter, England crushed Montenegro 7-0 to qualify in what was their 1000th match. Harry Kane scored a first-half hat-trick in London to move into the top-six of all-time leading goalscorers for England.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham were the others to put their name on the scoring sheet with Aleksandar Sofranac’s (own goal) helping England to secure the top spot in Group A with 33 goals in seven matches. Czech Republic were the other team to qualify from the group after a comeback 2-1 with over Kosovo.
However, for world champions France, it wasn’t an easy outing as they came from behind to beat Moldova 2-1. France had qualified earlier alongside Turkey whose goalless draw against Iceland secured berths for both the teams. Moldova, ranked 175th in the world, stunned France with an opening goal through Vadim Rata in the ninth minute. Raphael Varane equalised in the 35th minute but they had to wait till a 79th minute penalty from Olivier Giroud to ensure three points and top spot in Group H.
Albania too had to come from behind for a 2-2 draw against Andorra at home in another group H clash.