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Ronaldo goal for Portugal controversially ruled out in thrilling draw with Serbia

The other game in the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifying group this evening finished level.

Cristiano Ronaldo in possession for Portugal while under pressure from Serbia's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Cristiano Ronaldo in possession for Portugal while under pressure from Serbia's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Image: Darko Vojinovic

CRISTIANO RONALDO WAS controversially denied an injury-time winner as Portugal blew a two-goal lead to be held by Serbia in World Cup qualifying.

Portugal appeared to be cruising to three points in Belgrade when leading 2-0 at the interval through Liverpool winger Diogo Jota’s first-half double.

Nemanja Radonjic’s half-time introduction proved crucial for Serbia, though, as he set up Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic to net in the first 15 minutes of the second period.

Portugal had to settle for a 2-2 draw, with Ronaldo left seven short of Iranian Ali Daei’s all-time record of 109 international goals after failing to score for a second straight match.

He appeared to have netted in the 93rd minute, but without VAR or goalline technology in use, officials decided that Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic had cleared the ball before it crossed the line. To add insult to injury, Ronaldo was booked for his protestations.

“We scored a goal that was not given when the ball went in,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos told RTP. “In a match of this level, that isn’t possible.”

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© – AFP, 2021

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