Cristiano Ronaldo has scored his 58th hat-trick for the club and country as Portugal has thrashed Luxembourg 5-0 in World Cup Qualifying Group A.
Ronaldo converted two penalties inside the opening 13 minutes before completing his hat-trick with a late header minutes after the 36-year-old footballer’s overhead bicycle was denied.
Bruno Fernandes and Palhinha were the others to find the net as Portugal moved a point behind group leaders Serbia, who they will host in the final round of the matches.
Bernardo Silva was fouled to prompt the first penalty in the eighth minute, while Ronaldo himself was brought down inside the area before converting the second penalty five minutes later. He had to retake it, though, after And Silva entered the area too early.
Ronaldo also struck the post, before his Manchester United teammate Fernandes made it 3-0 with just 18 minutes on the clock.
Palhinha netted a fourth in the 69th minute – moments after Ronaldo came close with a stunning bicycle kick that was saved by Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris.
But the legend who recently broke Iranian Ali Daei’s goalscoring record in men’s international football of 109 goals last month pulled further away when he completed his hat trick three minutes from time.
Portugal captain has scored 6 goals in his 5 group stage appearances of the World Cup qualifiers.
The latest victory sets up a straight shootout with Serbia for first place after they beat Azerbaijan 3-1 in Belgrade.
In other matches of the competitions, Denmark has continued their fairytale winning-run with a 1-0 victory against Austria.
The experimental attack of sluggish England has failed against Hungary as they were held to a 1-1 draw.
And Scotland’s 86th-minute goal against Feroe Island has led them to second place in Group F below the Danes who are not only on a winning streak but also yet to concede a goal.