World Cup Qualifiers: Ronaldo Hits 4, Gameiro at the Double for France
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to international football with a bang, scoring twice in the opening four minutes on the way to a four-goal haul as European champions Portugal hammered Andorra 6-0 in World Cup qualifiers on Friday.
In his first appearance for Portugal since he was stretchered off injured from the final of Euro 2016, the Real Madrid attacker took just 73 seconds to make his mark, volleying in left footed from around the penalty spot on a rebound.
The 31-year-old was at it again two minutes later when he was left totally unmarked on the six-yard box to rise and head in.
Ronaldo got the perfect hat-trick just 90 seconds after the break, notching his third – Portugal’s fourth – with a sweet right-footed volley to all but secure the three points.
Andorra’s nightmare got worse when they received two red cards – both for fouls on Ronaldo – who punished them with another half-volley for 5-0 before Andre Silva completed the rout.
Meanwhile, Switzerland scored in the 89th minute to stay top of group B in the World Cup Qualifiers, Valentin Stocker firing them in front for the final time in a thrilling 3-2 away win in Hungary for a perfect six points from six after their opening day win over Portugal.
France returned to the scene of their heartbreaking final defeat to Portugal at Euro 2016 in Paris and made a nightmare start when they went down to a Mihail Aleksandrov penalty after six minutes to give the Bulgarians a shock lead in group A.
But the Les Blues stormed back with two goals from Kevin Gameiro – making his first international start since 2011 – and further strikes from Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet in a 4-1 win.
Didier Deschamps men travel to Amsterdam on Monday for a mouthwatering clash with the Netherlands, who top the group after they defeated Belarus 4-1 in Rotterdam.
Eden Hazard scored a beauty as under-achieving Belgium thrashed Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-0 to go top of group H.
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