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Portugal Maul Luxembourg 9-0 Without Suspended Ronaldo

Goncalo Ramos, Diogo Jota and Goncalo Inacio struck two goals each, while Ricardo Horta and Joao Felix also scored.


Portugal’s forward #21 Diogo Jota celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the EURO 2024 first round group J qualifying football match between Portugal and Luxembourg at the Algarve stadium in Almancil, Faro district, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by Patricia DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

 

Bruno Fernandes ran the show for Portugal as they romped to a record 9-0 win over Luxembourg on Monday without suspended talisman and all-time top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Roberto Martinez’s side have now won all six of their qualifying games, without conceding a single goal and scoring 24 themselves, with this the country’s largest ever victory.

Portugal’s forward #15 Ricardo Horta celebrates after scoring his team’s sixth goal during the EURO 2024 first round group J qualifying football match between Portugal and Luxembourg at the Algarve stadium in Almancil, Faro district, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by Patricia DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

Portugal lead the Group J standings, five points clear of Slovakia in second place, whom they beat in Bratislava on Friday. Luxembourg are third, three points behind Slovakia.

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Manchester United playmaker Fernandes, who scored Portugal’s winner against Slovakia, laid on three goals as the Selecao filled their boots and scored one himself.

Goncalo Ramos, Diogo Jota and Goncalo Inacio struck two goals each, while Ricardo Horta and Joao Felix also scored.

Portugal’s forward #17 Rafael Leao fights for the ball with Luxembourg’s defender #18 Laurent Jans during the EURO 2024 first round group J qualifying football match between Portugal and Luxembourg at the Algarve stadium in Almancil, Faro district, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by Patricia DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

Sporting Lisbon defender Inacio sent the hosts ahead in the 12th minute with a header from Fernandes’ exquisite cross with the outside of his foot.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Ramos drilled home the second five minutes later after Fernandes pressed high to win the ball back.

The 22-year-old striker then grabbed another goal in the 33rd minute with a clever turn and clinical finish for his sixth goal in eight appearances for his country.

Liverpool striker Jota hit the crossbar as Portugal dominated at the Algarve stadium near the country’s south coast.

Portugal’s forward #21 Diogo Jota (C) celebrates with Portugal’s forward #15 Ricardo Horta (L) and Portugal’s forward #11 Joao Felix after scoring a goal during the EURO 2024 first round group J qualifying football match between Portugal and Luxembourg at the Algarve stadium in Almancil, Faro district, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by Patricia DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

Inacio headed home his second goal from another Fernandes cross on the stroke of half-time and Jota struck early in the second half for the fifth, set up by the Red Devils midfielder again.

Portugal thrashed Luxembourg 6-0 in their first clash in the Grand Duchy and Horta rifled home from the edge of the box for their sixth of the night to match the haul.

Jota, who set up Horta, walloped home the seventh as Portugal continued pushing on without remorse, and Fernandes capped his virtuoso display by netting the eighth.

That matched their previous best win, 8-0 on three occasions, but substitute Felix struck a superb ninth from the edge of the box to set Portugal’s new record.

AFP