Prior to the winning goal, Ronaldo was cautioned for diving in the 82nd minute as Portugal grew more desperate for a decisive goal.
By Johnson Atoukudu:
Cristiano Ronaldo achieved a significant milestone in his international career as he played his 200th match for Portugal in Iceland on Tuesday. He secured a victory for his team in the 89th minute, maintaining their top position in Group J with 12 points from four games.
The renowned footballer, who has won the Ballon d’Or five times, also earned a new entry in the Guinness Book of Records. This feat occurred nearly two decades after his debut against Kazakhstan on August 20, 2003, where he substituted the legendary Portuguese No. 7, Luis Figo, when he was just 18 years old.
During the match in Reykjavik, Ronaldo aimed to score his 123rd goal, and he achieved it in a thrilling manner. The goal had to be confirmed by VAR, which took almost three minutes. Another experienced player, 40-year-old Pepe, participated in his 136th international appearance, as newly appointed manager Roberto Martinez sought a fourth consecutive victory.
Portugal displayed their determination for an early goal, with Ronaldo hitting the crossbar with a powerful header in the 49th minute. However, it wasn’t until the 89th minute that Ronaldo found the back of the net, courtesy of a well-placed header from substitute Goncalo Inacio. Prior to the winning goal, Ronaldo was cautioned for diving in the 82nd minute as Portugal grew more desperate for a decisive goal. Their chances improved further when Iceland’s Willum Willumsson received a second yellow card in the 80th minute. Ronaldo’s eagerness to control a floated ball led to a handball inside the Iceland box just four minutes before his winning goal.