Jun 20, 2023 at 10:51 PMUpdate: 9 minutes ago
Cristiano Ronaldo has also been worth gold for Portugal in his two hundredth international match. The superstar scored the winning goal against Iceland in the final phase on Tuesday in the qualifying series for the European Championship of 2024. Erling Haaland ended his top season in style with Norway.
Ronaldo was extensively honored for his 200th international match prior to the duel with Iceland, but the match in Reykjavík was certainly not a party. Iceland limited itself to defending and Portugal bit the stiff defense of the home team for a long time.
When Go Ahead Eagles player Willum Thor Willumsson received his second yellow card ten minutes before the end, it was waiting for a Portuguese goal. Who else but Ronaldo accounted for the winning goal.
The superstar received the ball after a header from Goncalo Inacio and lashed out devastatingly. The arbitration initially rejected the goal due to offside, but the VAR rightly put a stop to that.
It was Ronaldo’s 123rd goal in his international career, in which he won the European title (2016). He is the first footballer ever to break the barrier of two hundred international matches. Thanks to his goal, Portugal also remains clear in group J. The Portuguese won the first four games, scored fourteen times and did not concede a single hit.
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Position in group J
Portugal 4-12 (+14) Slovakia 4-10 (+4)
Luxemburg 4-7 (-2) Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-3 (-4) Iceland 4-3 (+2)
Liechtenstein 4-0 (-14)
Haaland ends top season in style
In Norway, Haaland ended his season in characteristic fashion. The Manchester City top striker led his country with two goals to a much-needed victory over Cyprus (3-1) in the qualifying series for the 2024 European Championship.
Haaland only grabbed the spotlight in Oslo after the break. The striker used a penalty kick in the 56th minute, just as he had done three days ago in the lost home game against Scotland (1-2). Ola Solbakken had already given the Norwegians the lead against Cyprus before the break.
Four minutes after his first goal, Haaland scored his second goal of the evening. He promoted a measured through ball from Martin Ødegaard to goal. Cyprus’ goal in stoppage time did not jeopardize Norway’s first victory in the qualifying series.
For Haaland, the season is now over. The striker had an unprecedentedly good year. With 52 goals in all competitions, he had a golden share in Manchester City’s Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup titles. He was also the top scorer in the Premier League with 36 goals.
Position in group A
Scotland 3-9 (+6) Georgia 2-4 (+1) Norway 4-4 (-2) Spain 2-3 (+1)
Cyprus 3-0 (-6)
Erling Haaland was once again accurate. Photo: ANP
Water ballet at Scotland-Georgia
In the group of Norway, the game between Scotland and Georgia was halted for more than an hour because the field in Glasgow had become unplayable due to heavy rain. At half time Scotland led 1-0 through a goal from Callum McGregor.
Ajax captain Dusan Tadic escaped disgrace with Serbia. Thanks to a goal from Darko Lazovic in the seventh minute of stoppage time, the Serbs pulled out a 1-1 draw against Bulgaria.
Serbia is second in group G. The top two countries in each group qualify directly for the European Championship, which will be held in Germany next year. The Netherlands will not continue the qualifying series for that tournament until September, because the Orange has played the final round of the Nations League in recent weeks.
It was slip and slide at Scotland-Georgia. Photo: Getty Images