Ronaldo bags three as Portugal cruise past Luxembourg

Mueez Ajao

– A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick helped Portugal stroll to a 5-0 win over Luxembourg in Group A of World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

– The victory ensures Portugal remain a point behind leaders Serbia, who moved onto 17 points with a 3-1 home win over Azerbaijan, with a game in hand and superior goal difference.

– Portugal had the game all but won within the first 18 minutes.

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– Ronaldo struck twice from the penalty spot before his Manchester United team mate Bruno Fernandes made it three as he fired in following good work from Bernardo Silva.

– Midfielder Joao Palhinha made it four with just over 20 minutes to go, before Ronaldo netted his 10th treble for his country three minutes from time with a header from close range.

– Next month Fernando Santos’s Portugal side travel to Ireland before then hosting Serbia in what could be a winner-takes-all fixture to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.