Ronaldo nets 2 in Portugal win, Andorra end 58-loss streak
LISBON: Cristiano Ronaldo teamed up with rising talent Andre Silva to score twice and lead Portugal past Hungary 3-0 in World Cup qualifying on Saturday.
Silva scored the opening goal before setting up Ronaldo for his first strike four minutes later.
Ronaldo scored again from a free kick in the second half to seal the win for the European champions with his ninth goal in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Ronaldo leads scoring in qualification, followed by Poland's Robert Lewandowski with seven.
"We started off slowly, but the first goal gave our confidence a boost and the other goals came naturally," Ronaldo told Portuguese television.
With 70 career goals in 137 appearances for Portugal, Ronaldo moved to fourth on Europe's all-time scorers list. He trails only Miroslav Klose (71), Sandor Kocsis (75) and Ferenc Puskas (84).
Portugal strengthened its hold on second place in Europe Group B with 12 points, opening a gap over Hungary, which stayed with seven points in third.
Switzerland, meanwhile, earned a fifth win in as many matches after beating Latvia 1-0 to remain on top of the group with 15 points.
Still stuck at the foot of the table, Andorra nevertheless savored the end to a losing streak that had lasted over a decade after drawing with Faroe Islands 0-0.
When Portugal last faced Hungary in June, Ronaldo netted twice in a 3-3 thriller that kept his team on course to win the European Championship.
Ronaldo made sure the rematch in Lisbon was a one-sided affair with some help from his young partner in strike.
Silva first tapped in a pass by Raphael Guerreiro for his fifth goal for Portugal since making his international debut in September.
The striker then added a deft control of a long ball before passing for Ronaldo to fire a left-footed shot from outside the area into the corner of the net.
Silva is having a breakout season for FC Porto, scoring four times in the Champions League and 15 more in the Portuguese league.
"Silva is doing a phenomenal job," Ronaldo said.
Josip Drmic headed in a cross from Admir Mehmedi two minutes after going on as a substitute for the Swiss in the 64th.
It was the forward's first international goal since November 2015 and ended a scoring drought for both country and club that had lasted just over a year.
Rarely has a scoreless stalemate in front of the home fans tasted so sweet.
But 11 years of nothing but losing will do that to a team.
Andorra's draw with fellow minnow Faroe Islands ended its run of 58 competitive defeats.
It was the first point in qualifying for the Pyrenees mountain principality, population 80,000, since a scoreless draw with Finland in 2005.
"We are happy because we know who we are and how hard this has been," said team captain Ildefons Lima.
Faroe Islands finished with 10 men after Joan Edmundsson was booked a second time with 15 minutes to play.
Faroe Islands has five points, ahead of Latvia with three.
The winner of each of the nine groups in Europe qualifies for the tournament in Russia. The eight best second-place finishers enter a playoff.