Football

Ronaldo strikes as Portugal win 4-0

Cristiano Ronaldo was on the scoresheet as European champions Portugal beat Israel 4-0 yesterday morning (Singapore time) in the final warm-up match for their title defence.

Bruno Fernandes scored twice while Joao Cancelo also dazzled at an empty Jose Alvalade Stadium.

It was Ronaldo's 104th goal in 175 matches for Portugal and took him within five strikes of matching former Iran striker Ali Daei's record as the all-time top scorer in international football.

"We put things right from the match against Spain," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said, referring to the 0-0 draw with Spain in their previous match in Madrid."I know what we have to do to win, and I have great confidence in this team."

Portugal took the lead in the 42nd minute as Cancelo got down the right flank and found Fernandes, who slotted low into the net with one touch.

The Manchester United midfielder then turned provider for Portugal's second two minutes later by feeding Ronaldo.

Cancelo then got on the scoresheet by cutting inside from the right wing to curl the ball into the far corner with his left foot.

Fernandes made it 4-0 in added time with a shot from outside the box which rocketed into the top corner.

The holders begin their defence against Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday in Group F, which also contains Germany and France, the 2014 and 2018 World Cup winners respectively. - AFP, REUTERS

Football