Cristiano Ronaldo bounced back from his weekend fit of rage with a goal to sink minnows Luxembourg
- Cristiano Ronaldo bounced back from his weekend tantrum with a goal versus Luxembourg.
- The Portugal forward stormed off the pitch after being wrongly denied a late winner against Serbia on Saturday.
- Portugal beat Luxembourg 3-1 to go top of Group A in World Cup qualifying.
Cristiano Ronaldo bounced back from his weekend tantrum to score as Portugal survived an early scare to beat minnows Luxembourg 3-1 in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.
Ronaldo had stormed off the pitch before the final whistle and threw his captain's armband to ground in Portugal's draw with Serbia on Saturday.The 36-year-old's reaction came in response to a mistake from referee Danny Makkelie, who had failed to recognize that Ronaldo's last gasp winner had crossed the line and did not award the goal.
Luxembourg took a shock lead after half an hour when forward Gerson Rodrigues, who hit his country's late winner over the Republic of Ireland on Saturday, scored a sublime diving header.Wolves striker Diogo Jota levelled for Portugal on the stroke of half time, before Ronaldo tapped home from close range just five minutes after the break.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder João Palhinha then scored his ever first international goal to wrap up victory for Fernando Santos' side, which now leads Serbia at the top of Group A on goal difference with three games played."Important victory towards our goal. Congratulations Team!" said Ronaldo on Instagram after the match.
Ronaldo was criticized for his meltdown against Serbia by his former international teammate Fernando Meira, who called his behaviour "unacceptable."
"I understand his frustration and I agree with him because the goal was valid," said Meira. "But the referees are the ones that have to make decisions, without VAR, and he has to set an example. And yesterday's was not one to follow."
Fernando Santos defended the Juventus striker, however, describing it as a moment of "great frustration."Dutch official Makkelie also apologized for his error, saying: "As per FIFA's policies, all I can say is that I apologized to the national coach, Mr. Fernando Santos, and to the Portuguese team for what happened.
"As a referee team, we always work hard to make good decisions. When we are in the news in this manner, it doesn't make us happy at all."
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