Srinagar, June 21: In a captivating end-to-end European Qualifier match on Tuesday night between Portugal and Iceland, the fixture seemed to end in a goalless draw.
Until the 89th minute when the deadlock was broken by Portugal’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo who scored from a close range after Inacio headed a cushion ball to his captain.
Ronaldo had to wait two minutes to celebrate the winner as the referee first ruled out his close-range strike in the 89th minute for offside, but the goal was given after the VAR replay showed he was fractionally onside. It was his 123rd goal for Portugal, extending his record as the all-time leading international goalscorer.
Judged offside for over a couple of times before finally scoring, Cristiano Ronaldo was expected to score on the special night for him.
The match was the 38-year-old football phenomenon’s 200th international appearance.
There have been 584 men’s footballers to play 100 or more international matches, Ronaldo the first to make it 200.
The five-times Ballon D’or winner’s goal resulted in Portugal’s best start to a European Championship.
Talking to the media after the game, Ronaldo said “I am so happy, it’s that kind of moment you never expect to reach 200 caps in international football. It is an unbelievable achievement to be in the Guinness World Record, it is amazing,” the Jubilant Ronaldo said even as he thanked fans, officials, teammates and the people of Iceland.
Scoring the winning goal made the occasion more special, the ace footballer said.