World Cup

Ronaldo, the greatest player in history, saves Portugal from defeat by France.

Ronaldo, the greatest player in history, saves Portugal from defeat by France.
With two late goals in a 2-1 win against the Republic of Ireland, Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time leading scorer in men’s international football, while holders France drew 1-1 with Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2022 World Cup qualification on Wednesday.

Ronaldo had an early penalty saved by young goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in Faro a day after completing his return to Manchester United, before Ireland seized the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Stephen Kenny’s team appeared to be on pace for a famous triumph after John Egan’s glancing header, but Ronaldo crushed Irish hearts with an 89th-minute equalizer — a strike that pushed him above Iranian Ali Daei’s 109th goal.

Home the sixth minute of injury time, the 36-year-old Ronaldo grabbed all three points for Portugal, rising highest to force in a header from Joao Mario’s right-wing cross.

With 10 points from four games, Portugal leads Group A, while Serbia is only three points behind with a game in hand.

The group winners will automatically qualify for the finals in Qatar next year, while the runners-up will compete in the playoffs.

France went behind in Strasbourg when Edin Dzeko rifled in a low shot from 20 yards for the first time since losing to Switzerland in the last 16 of Euro 2020.

Dzeko’s header from a corner hit Griezmann and rebounded barely over the line, bringing France level, but Jules Kounde was sent off for a reckless tackle early in the second half for the hosts.

France leads Group D by four points above Ukraine, who were held to a 2-2 draw away to Kazakhstan after conceding a last-gasp goal. Finland is six points behind the leaders, although they have two games in hand.

In Norway’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in Oslo, Erling Haaland scored his first World Cup qualification goal.

On 20 minutes, Haaland’s scruffy finish put Norway ahead, but Davy Klaassen equalized before halftime as Louis van Gaal began his third term as manager of the Dutch national team.

The top four teams in Group G are separated by one point, with Turkey leading after squandering a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against Montenegro at home.

Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runner-up, drew 0-0 in Russia to maintain their lead in Group H on goal difference over their opponents. After a 1-1 tie with Slovenia, Slovakia is down a point.

Denmark swept Scotland 2-0, making it four wins from four in Group F, thanks to two fast goals from Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle.

After Eran Zahavi scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory in the Faroe Islands, Israel is their closest rival. Following a 2-0 win in Moldova, Austria is level on points with Moldova.


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