Portugal made light work of Liechtenstein in Roberto Martinez’s first match, with Cristiano Ronaldo starring on his 197th appearance.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated becoming the most capped player of all time with a brace as Portugal beat Liechtenstein 4-0 in Roberto Martinez’s first match.
Ronaldo scored just once at last year’s World Cup and there were doubts over whether he would return for Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.
But after being named captain in Martinez’s starting XI for Thursday’s game at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Ronaldo scored twice in 12 minutes – a superb penalty followed by a poor free-kick – to help seal an emphatic victory and record his record appearance. in the style.
Ronaldo’s goals followed strikes from Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva as Portugal got off to the easiest start in Group J.
The Liechtenstein resistance lasted only eight minutes. The visitors failed to clear their lines following a Bruno Fernandes corner and Cancelo’s deflected shot from the edge of the box curled past Benjamin Buchel.
Ronaldo squandered two golden opportunities to extend Portugal’s lead when he shot wide when one-on-one with Buchel to send a free header wide.
Portugal’s wait for a second ended 68 seconds after the restart, Silva trying to poke home after his cross was blocked, and Ronaldo had his goal four minutes later.
Jens Hofer clumsily beat Cancelo, with Ronaldo drilling the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner.
An offside flag cut short Ronaldo’s celebrations as he slotted home from close range, but a superb 63rd-minute free-kick was too much for Buchel.
For Ronaldo, who made his mark in the 78th minute, the hat-trick did not arrive, the work for the new boss Martinez is done.