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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, September 10, 2020
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Ronaldo completes brace for Portugal;
France beat Croatia in WCup final repeat

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning brace to take him to 101 international goals for Portugal in a 2-0 victory over 10-man Sweden in the Nations League on Tuesday, while France won a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final 4-2 over Croatia.

Ronaldo broke the mythical 100-goal mark on the stroke of half-time, the 35-year-old Juventus attacker curling in a free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and into the far left corner beyond Sweden's stranded goalkeeper Robin Olsen for a memorable milestone in his trophy-laden career.

The bonus second goal, and his 101st, came in the 72nd minute, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward cutting back inside the Swedish defence and producing a deft finish into the far corner from 20 yards.

"They are two important goals because it means I managed to reach this mark I'd been seeking," Ronaldo told Portuguese public television RTP.

Ronaldo, capped 165 times by Portugal, is second only to Iran's Ali Daei, on 109, in the list of top men's international goal scorers.

At the Stade de France, Eduardo Camavinga became France's youngest international in 106 years as Les Bleus won a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final over Croatia, 4-2.

Midfielder Camavinga, aged 17 years and nine months, replaced N'GoloKante in the second half and is only surpassed by JulienVerbrugghe, aged 16 years and 10 months in 1906, and Maurice Gastiger, at 17 years and 4 months in 1914.

Deschamps made seven changes from Saturday's win over Sweden in Solna with Wissam Ben Yedder and Anthony Martial leading the attack after Kylian Mbappe contracted Covid-19.

Antoine Griezmann, Dayot Upamecano, Olivier Giroud as well as an own goal from the visitors' goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic secured a repeat result from Russia two years ago after Dejan Lovren had opened the scoring for Croatia, Wolfsburg's Josip Brekalo adding their second in the 55th minute.

The result sees Didier Deschamps' World Cup winners second on goal difference in Group A behind Portugal.

On the other hand, FIFA's number one ranked side Belgium, led superbly by Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, handed Iceland a 5-1 drubbing to follow up on their 2-0 win over Denmark.

The Islanders actually opened the scoring through an 11th-minute deflected shot from Holmbert Fridjonsson.*AFP

 

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