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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo nets international goal No. 99

By
Alex Butler
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) will become the second men's player in history to score 100 international goals with his next score. Photo by Mario Cruz/EPA-EFE
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) will become the second men's player in history to score 100 international goals with his next score. Photo by Mario Cruz/EPA-EFE

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 99th international goal in a 2-0 win against Luxembourg, helping his country qualify for Euro 2020.

Ronaldo's score came in the 86th minute of the group stage affair Sunday at Stade Josy Barthel in Luxembourg.

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Bernardo Silva helped give Portgual a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute. The star midfielder sent a pass ahead for Bruno Fernandes during that sequence. Fernandes ran into the box to collect the feed before burying a shot past Luxembourg goalie Anthony Moris.

Portugal held the narrow lead through the halftime whistle, before Ronaldo secured the victory in the final minutes. Silva bent a pass toward the far post at the start of the second scoring sequence. Diogo Jota attempted to score on the play, but had his shot blocked by Moris. The Luxembourg keeper was not able to hold onto the ball, as it deflected to his left.

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Ronaldo collected the loose ball and fired it into the net from point-blank range, giving Portugal a two-goal edge.

Portugal finished second in Group B with 17 points. Ronaldo is one score away from becoming the second men's player in history to record 100 goals for a national team.

"The performance was good under the conditions," Fernandes told reporters. "We knew this game would be more on the basis of quantity than quality. We had a great delivery and a great spirit, that's what made us come out with the victory."

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The final tournament draw for Euro 2020 takes place Nov. 30 in Bucharest. The draw splits the 24 qualifiers into six groups of four teams. The tournament opens June 12 in Rome and the final is set for July 7 in London.

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