Sweden 0-2 Portugal, Ronaldo returns to net a brace and reached 100 and 101 international goals for Portugal.
Portugal picked up their second victory in a matter of nights, thanks to talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who bagged his 100th and 101st international goals for the UEFA Nations League defending champions. Both goals were enough for the visitors to see off 10-man Sweden.
Ronaldo’s first goal helped reach the 100 international goals milestone, becoming only the second men’s player to reach a century of strikes for his country after he found the back of the net with a stunning free-kick late in the first half in Stockholm on Tuesday.
His milestone goal came after Gustav Svensson was sent off for the host, who never posed a threat throughout the night. The Portugal captain and all-time leading goalscorer would add another wonderful goal after the break to put the encounter to bed.
Meanwhile, the Selecao had thrashed Croatia 4-1 last week in the absence of their captain Cristiano Ronaldo. With two games played, the UEFA Nations League defending champions top their Group A3 just ahead of world champions France on goals difference.
Sweden 0-2 Portugal: Match Report
The Portuguese side survived an early scare when Marcus Berg wastefully skewed a header chance wide. Although the visitors were similarly wayward at the early stages as Pepe failed to turn in a superb cross from Bernardo Silva, who was injured in the process.
As the game went on, Cristiano Ronaldo was denied his milestone goal as Robin Olsen made a pair of instinctive stops with his legs, blocking a snapshot on the turn and then diverting another powerful one-on-one effort onto the crossbar and over.
At the brink of half-time, a careless Svensson gave the hosts’ game away after a reckless challenge on Joao Moutinho earned him a second yellow card, having been booked earlier.
Cristiano would step out to dispatch the subsequent free-kick into the top-left corner to finally bring break his milestone hurdle nearly after 10 months wait.
After the break, the visitors pressured for a second of the night, with Bruno Fernandes prodding against the bar. So like you’d predict, the points were left for Portugal’s talisman Ronaldo to make safe, his 101st goal for his nation. He put a beautifully curled effort past Olsen into the top-right corner this time around.
In the closing stages, Joao Felix was presented with a chance to add his name to the scoresheet but he couldn’t stretch enough to reach Fernandes’ low ball and left the goalkeeper Olsen to comfortably deal with it.
What Sweden 0-2 Portugal Win Means
The visitors might have earned a helping hand by the red card here, but the UEFA Nations League defending champions are quickly off to a flier in this competition once more.
So far, they have recorded two wins from two, and despite France to play home and away, they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Neither does their record goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo Now Has His Eyes On the Global Goal Records
Ronaldo was forced to sit out of the game against Croatia due to a toe infection, which meant his 99 goals for Portugal had not changed since November 2019. Therefore, the 35-year old was eager to find the back of the net on the night.
Earlier in the night, Olsen got better of him twice, but the Juventus hitman had the last laugh as his stunning brace was fully deserved. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner can now look towards the record of 109 international goals, held by Iran legend Ali Daei.
What’s Next for Both Teams
After the Sweden 0-2 Portugal win for the visitors, they will face Spain in a friendly before the Nations League returns, where they will face France and Sweden again. While Sweden will face Russia and Croatia in the return fixture.
Sweden 0-2 Portugal: Villain Of the Night
Svensson – the Seattle Sounders midfielder should have done better on his challenge that earned him the second yellow card after already been booked. Yet, his attempted challenge was left late and so strong, which might have earned him a straight red card if not for his earlier booking.
Sweden 0-2 Portugal: Hero Of the Night
Cristiano Ronaldo – He was eager and determined to get on the scoresheet right from the start. Despite being denied twice earlier in the night, he later got a deserved brace to put his side atop of the Group A3 standing.
His free-kick goal was his 57th career goal from a direct dead ball, 10th for his nation. The first of the night helped reach a century goal for his countryside, becoming only the second player to ever achieve the milestone and the first European player ever to have scored 100 international goals.
Congratulations to Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo! Feel free to share your thoughts with us via our comments section below.