Instead, it was finally Bruno Fernandez who scored Portugal’s goal in his 2–0 victory over Uruguay on Monday, pushing the team into the last 16.
Fernandez’s cross from the left narrowly missed a leaping Ronaldo’s head and bounced into the goal corner in the 54th minute to give Portugal a 1-0 lead.
Fernandez was effectively denied a hat-trick on the final shot of the game. His shot from outside the box hit the post and bounced wide. When several close-up replays were shown on the big screen at Lusail Stadium, a grinning Ronaldo threw his arms in the air to indicate he had received the finishing touches and hugged Fernandez.
Unfortunately for Ronaldo, the goal went to Fernandez.
His 3-2 win over Ghana in the opening match saw Portugal become the third team to reach the last 16, behind France and Brazil.
Uruguay has one point from its two games and needs to beat Ghana on Friday to advance. The 2010 semi-finalist has yet to score in this competition and Diego Alonso his coach sent his 35-year-old striker Luis Suarez to the bench to find the right attacking combination. Portugal has no such worries. The team has scored five goals in his two games, and he has been involved in four of them as Fernandez leads the team as the number 10 jersey.
Ronaldo was unable to match the penalty he scored against Ghana, bringing his World Cup tally to eight goals from five tournaments and his previous international goalscoring record to 118.
But as he lit up a lackluster first half with tricks and tricks that took the crowd at the biggest World Cup venue expecting Ronaldo to return for his December 18 final, It was still the center of attention. He volleyed in the opening minutes on the right shoulder of team-mate William Carvalho. I had a double step over and a no-look pass, but this was just a show-off. Then came an impressive chest control as he leaped towards the far post to receive a cross.
Ronaldo now secures at least two more of his matches in what is likely to be his final World Cup and will play on his stage for the fourth knockout of his career.
A draw with South Korea in the final Group H match puts Portugal in first place for him, making him unlikely to face Brazil in the Round of 16. Suárez, who came off the bench in the match against Portugal, could have been recalled in the match after substituting Maxi Gómez slammed into the post and then threw a shot just off from close range.
“We have to play more, we have to be a brave team,” said Alonso.
Portugal got revenge after losing to Uruguay in Round 16 of the 2018 tournament.