FIFA World Cup 2018
Qualifying – Europe
Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz), Lisboa, Portugal
Portugal closed the gap on leaders Switzerland to three points after defeating Hungary 3-1 at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz) in Lisbon, in what was their fifth FIFA World Cup Qualifying match in Group B.
André Silva tapped-home from close-range after the midway-point in the first-half before Cristiano Ronaldo fired home Portugal’s second minutes later. Ronaldo then made it three for the hosts with a fine freekick 20 minutes into the second-half
In what was a repeat of the final Group F match at the UEFA European Championships, which ended 3-3, the European Champions started well after quite an evenly contested first quarter of an hour and went close in the 19th minute when a fine cross from Ricardo Quaresma was met by Ronaldo, who headed the ball just wide of the far-post.
In the 32nd minute the Seleção took the lead when Raphaël Guerreiro’s first-time low delivery across the face of goal was tapped-home by Silva.
Four minutes later the hosts doubled their lead when Silva cleverly back-heeled a cross-field pass into the path of Ronaldo, who drilled home powerfully from-range with his weaker foot to beat Péter Gulácsi at his near-post.
Three minutes later Ronaldo went close to his second of the night when João Mário’s lofted-pass was met by Ronaldo with an acrobatic effort but his effort produced a comfortable save from Gulácsi.
In the 65th minute Portugal made it three when Ronaldo fired home a freekick off the post. The goal was his 70th for Portugal.
Two minutes later Hungary went close to pulling a goal back when Balázs Dzsudzsák saw Rui Patrício off his line and attempted to lob the keeper from-range, but his effort was well-saved by the retreating-keeper.
In the 84th minute the hosts went close to a fourth when Quaresma did very well to twist Barnabás Bese inside-out before finding substitute Bernardo Silva with a cross, who headed the ball just over the bar.
Two minutes later Hungary went close when Bese surged forward before firing an effort just over the bar although Patrício had it covered. A minute later the visitors went close again when Ádám Szalai teed up substitute Ádám Pintér but he fired the ball just over the bar.
The result meant that Portugal remained second in Group B on 12 points, trailing leaders Switzerland by three points, whilst Hungary remained third in seven points.