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Played
September 6, 2013 2:45 PM EDT
Windsor Park — Belfast
Referee:‬ D. Makkelie‎
Attendance:‬ 13629‎
 
Top of the Match
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal
Flop of the Match
Kyle Lafferty
Kyle Lafferty
No. Ireland
Hélder Postiga
Hélder Postiga
Portugal

Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal: Ronaldo hat trick completes stunning turnaround

A chaotic World Cup qualifier saw the hosts come back from 1-0 down but Helder Postiga's red card was countered by ejections for Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty.

Northern Ireland was defeated 4-2 by Portugal in a chaotic World Cup 2014 qualifier that saw six goals - three of them from Cristiano Ronaldo - and three red cards.

The Real Madrid star netted his 41st, 42nd and 43rd international goals in a devastating 15-minute spell in the second half at Windsor Park to become Portugal's second-highest scorer ahead of Eusebio. Ronaldo is now four behind the country's all-time leading goalscorer Pauleta.

The result keeps Portugal just a point behind Russia at the top of Group F in the European qualifying section, while Northern Ireland's slim hopes of reaching the playoffs are now over.

Bruno Alves and Gareth McAuley traded headed goals for either side in the first half, before Helder Postiga was shown a straight red card for Portugal.

Jamie Ward then gave Northern Ireland the lead after the break before Ronaldo took over and single-handedly gave the visitors all three points as both Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty were dismissed for the hosts.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill recalled Jonny Evans, Lee Hodson and Brunt to his starting XI as Aaron Hughes and Craig Cathcart were ruled out through injury, while Daniel Lafferty was suspended.

Ronaldo captained Portugal in attack, with head coach Paulo Bento preferring Vieirinha over Nani on the wing.

The hosts were full of confidence after recording an impressive 1-0 victory over Russia in their last qualifier, but it was Alves who opened the scoring after 19 minutes.

A Joao Moutinho corner was contested at the near post and the ball found Alves unmarked on the edge of the penalty area, and the Fenerbahce man coolly volleyed home.

McAuley then equalized for the hosts after 35 minutes, as he rose highest to direct the ball goalwards from six yards from Shane Ferguson’s corner.

And Northern Ireland’s chances were boosted further shortly after when Postiga was shown a straight red card for head-butting McAuley in full view of referee Danny Makkelie.

O'Neill's men came flying out of the traps after the interval and Ward put them ahead after 51 minutes as he reacted to a Jonny Evans flick-on to divert the ball past Rui Patricio.

However, Brunt was then red carded for the hosts on 61 minutes after a second-bookable offense for a late challenge on Joao Pereira and Ronaldo put the visitors back on level terms just seven minutes later as he headed home from a Moutinho corner.

The 28-year-old then scored his second and Portugal's third of the game with another header 13 minutes from time.

Lafferty was then given his marching orders for a dangerous lunge on Pereira, before Ronaldo completed his treble on 82 minutes with a free kick from 20 yards.

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No. Ireland

1
Roy Carroll
Goalkeeper
62′
2.50
23
Gareth McAuley
Defender
36′
3.50
6
Jonny Evans
Defender
52′
4.00
2
Lee Hodson
Defender
3.00
31
Shane Ferguson
Midfielder
36′ 76′
3.50
11
Chris Brunt
Midfielder
39′ 61′
2.00
14
Niall McGinn
Midfielder
67′
2.50
-
Oliver Norwood
Midfielder
82′
3.00
8
Steven Davis
Midfielder
32′
2.50
-
Jamie Ward
Striker
52′ 71′
3.00
10
3.50

Portugal

2.00
1
Rui Patricio
Goalkeeper
3.00
22
Bruno Alves
Defender
21′
3.00
5
2.50
12
3.00
3
Pepe
Defender
7′
3.00
-
Joao Moutinho
Midfielder
68′
2.50
4
Miguel Veloso
Midfielder
2.50
14
Raúl Meireles
Midfielder
55′
 - 
8
Vieirinha
Striker
65′
4.00
7
1.50
23

Substitutes

47
 - 
4
Alex Bruce
Defender
 - 
6
Chris Baird
Defender
76′
 - 
23
 - 
31
Corry Evans
Midfielder
71′
3.00
-
 - 
16
 - 
20
Josh Magennis
Goalkeeper
 - 
18
1.00
19
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
16
Anthony Lopes
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Eduardo
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Antunes
Defender
 - 
-
Neto
Defender
 - 
20
 - 
-
Licá
Midfielder
 - 
28
André Martins
Midfielder
 - 
23
Adrien Silva
Midfielder
 - 
-
Josue
Midfielder
3.50
17
Nani
Striker
55′
 - 
6
Ruben Amorim
Midfielder
90′
2.50
25

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 8
Times In EDT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Man City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0