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Ronaldo scores four as Portugal coast to victory in Lithuania

Ronaldo scores four as Portugal coast to victory in Lithuania

11/09/2019 at 06:33Updated 11/09/2019 at 07:33

Cristiano Ronaldo recorded his 54th career hat-trick before adding a fourth as Portugal coasted to a 5-1 victory in Lithuania.

The Juventus forward opened the scoring from the spot after seven minutes before Vytautas Andriuskevicius levelled for the hosts.

A flurry of three goals in 15 second-half minutes from Ronaldo, and a late fifth from William Carvalho, handed Portugal another three points.

Ronaldo, on top of scoring his eight international hat-trick, also netted his second four-goal haul for Portugal, three years after his first, and took his tally to 93 for his country.

Portugal stay second in Group B with eight points, five behind leaders Ukraine with one game in hand. Serbia are a further point behind in third after a 3-1 win in Luxemburg.

Lithuania, bottom with one point, missed an early chance when Vykintas Slivka fired over from close range and they quickly paid the price when Markus Palionis handled a Joao Felix cross and Ronaldo converted the penalty in the fifth minute.

Lithuania goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus made an excellent save to prevent Edvinas Girdvainis turning the ball into his own net but Vytautas Andriuskevicius then grabbed a surprise equaliser, rising above his marker to head in from a corner in the 28th minute.

Ronaldo set up good chances for Felix and Bernardo Silva, which were wasted, after the break before taking matters into his own hands.

Just as Portugal were beginning to show signs of frustration, Ronaldo produced a low shot which bobbled twice in front of Setkus in the 62nd minute. The Lithuania goalkeeper got his hand to it, but it hit his head and bounced into the net.

Three minutes later, Ronaldo was left free in the area to sweep home Bernardo Silva's cross and Silva also provided the pass for Ronaldo to sidefoot his fourth 11 minutes later.

Carvalho's goal, his fourth in 60 games, was a fitting reward for a player who keeps the Portugal midfield ticking over without getting much attention.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice to keep Serbia's hopes alive with a win in Luxemburg. He headed Serbia in front after 36 minutes and Nemanja Radonjic curled in the second 10 minutes after the restart.

Substitute David Turpel pulled one back and Serbia were on the ropes until Sergej Milinkovic-Savic produced a delightful reverse pass for Mitrovic to fire in the third.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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