Portugal cast itself a Euro 2020 qualifying safety net thanks to a deep run in the Nations League last spring.
With only two games played in its actual qualifying group, however, Portugal needed to start racking up some wins.
We’ll let Cristiano Ronaldo take it from there.
Ronaldo scored four times in Portugal’s 5-1 win over Lithuania on Tuesday, his eighth career hat trick for his country.
Three of the goals came during a 15-minute flurry in the second half, and the reigning European champions might have needed it more than it seemed. Ronaldo converted a penalty for his opener in the seventh minute, but Lithuania’s Vytautas Andriuškevičius knotted the score at 1-1 in the 28th minute.
Ronaldo bagged his second just past the hour mark, then finished off his hat trick four minutes later by tiptoeing between defenders in the center of the box and flicking home Bernardo Silva’s ball in:
Cristiano Ronaldo completes his hat trick -- his 8th for Portugal and 54th of his career!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 10, 2019
👏 👏 👏 pic.twitter.com/DLoOjdrmjw
In the 76th minute, Silva slipped another pass to Ronaldo, who opened up his body and curled a first-time finish into the bottom right corner:
Portugal is now second in Group B with eight points, while Ukraine leads with 13. Ronaldo and Co. will visit Kiev on Oct. 14 after the two nations played to a scoreless draw last March.
Jadon Sancho scores first two goals for England
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho scored twice late in the first half, which proved to be vital as England beat Kosovo 5-3.
The 19-year-old settled a pass from Raheem Sterling in the 44th minute and punished Kosovo for the space afforded to him:
Jadon Sancho scored his first goal for England.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 10, 2019
Less than three minutes later, he scored his second 🔥 pic.twitter.com/93ZTLX3nUQ
Sancho scored again in the first minute of stoppage time as the Three Lions struggled a bit but stayed atop Group A with four wins from four matches played.
American fans will no doubt recognize Sancho has the promising attacker who rendered Christian Pulisic excess goods at Dortmund, though Pulisic is growing into his new role at Chelsea to start the season.
Other Euro 2020 qualifying scores
Albania 4-2 Iceland
France 3-0 Andorra
Moldova 0-4 Turkey
Luxembourg 1-3 Serbia
Montenegro 0-3 Czech Republic
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