Cristiano Ronaldo scored a timely hat-trick to help Portugal defeat Switzerland 3-1, on Wednesday, and earn them a berth in the final of UEFA Nations League. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner performed brilliantly throughout the match and his individual performance stood out as his nation raced into the final of the Nations League.
Owing to a challenge from Swiss Kevin Mbabu, the Juventus star won a free-kick and smashed it beyond the messy wall, created by opponent players, into the bottom right corner of the nets, as Swiss goalkeeper stood static, failing to understand the swing of the ball. However, in just 12 minutes time, Switzerland came back through a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty-kick to equalize the scoreline.
Portugal suffered another blow as their senior player Pepe had to go off with an arm injury and that is when Switzerland created some chances in the Portuguese box. But, Ronaldo came into rescue for the 2016 Euro champions as he found the back of the net with a low first-time finish from a Bernardo Silva cut-back.
He added one more in the scoreline to complete his hat-trick as he dribbled past Swiss defenders to hit the ball in the bottom right corner of the nets, giving Portugal a 3-1 victory. They will now face the winners of the other semi-final which will see England and Netherlands locking horns on June 6.
UEFA created the Nations League to give European teams more meaningful games and reduce the number of friendlies.
(With inputs from ANI)