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Cristiano Ronaldo marked his return to the Portugal starting line-up with a brace as Fernando Santos’ side comfortably defeated Switzerland 4-0 to claim their first win of the Nations League campaign.

Ronaldo – who was on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Spain on Thursday – scored twice in four first-half minutes after William Carvalho gave the hosts an early lead. Joao Cancelo put the gloss on a convincing display with his side’s fourth after the restart.

Switzerland had the ball in the back of the net first, but Haris Seferovic’s goal was chalked off after VAR spotted a handball in the build-up.

Their joy turned to dismay just minutes later as Carvalho gave Portugal their opener, the Real Betis midfielder on hand to slot into an empty net after Switzerland goalkeeper Gregor Kobel could only parry Ronaldo’s free-kick into his path.

The opener shifted the momentum overwhelmingly in Portugal’s favour as the hosts took control, with Ronaldo doubling the advantage with a first-time shot from a fine Diogo Jota assist.

The Manchester United forward was in the right place to make it 3-0 just moments later for his 117th international goal, and he spurned a golden opportunity to make it a seven-minute hat-trick when he failed to hit the target from point-blank range.

All eyes were on Ronaldo as he searched for his treble, but it was Manchester City’s Cancelo who brought up Portugal’s fourth following a clever pass from his club team mate Bernardo Silva.

Ronaldo was preparing himself to take a penalty when the referee pointed to the spot after Nuno Mendes was fouled, but VAR overturned the decision, and despite his best efforts the 37-year-old failed to register again on the scoresheet, with Dortmund shot-stopper at full-stretch to keep out his excellent free-kick.

After two games, Portugal have four points, level with Czech Republic who were pegged back late by Spain in a 2-2 draw. Switzerland are yet to get off the mark.


By Amara

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