Team captain Cristiano Ronaldo saves Portugal from a frustrating night

In a fast and intense game as it were last night at the Estadio Algarve, opportunities just couldn’t stop falling for the home side.

Cristiano Ronaldo was at the origin of a multitude of chances, setting up his colleagues in front with accurate passes, and his unique style of play – spiced up by pace, tricks and flicks – came very much at the crowd’s delight.

The Portuguese skipper had a good shot on his own after Tiago found him with an excellent cross.But his ball went inches just wide and Finland’s keeper was lucky enough to have escaped a big scare. In terms of performance on the field, Cristiano Ronaldo was a perfect leader, teaming up with Nani to create more chances for his side.

With pressure mounting on Carlos Queiros and with the time running out down the clock, it seemed like Portugal would never find their way out to come up victorious on the night, though glorious opportunities over glorious opportunities kept falling like rain from the sky.

But it had to be because of Pasanen’s nasty challenge on substitute Danny, who just had his first touch of the ball that things turned around for the Portuguese at the 79th minute of the game.

The Finnish – who had escaped a red card earlier in the game when Roman Eremenko fouled Ronaldo from behind – were finally punished by the referee’s decision to award a penalty to Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was presented before kick off with an award by the Portuguese federation in respect of his recent Fifa World Player of the Year award, was given the perfect opportunity to celebrate this important night for him.

Ronaldo stepped up and calmly rolled the ball at the back of the net to ensure Portugal a victory in a game where they were so dominant but wasteful. This was Cristiano Ronaldo’s 62nd match for his country at senior level, and his first goal for Portugal since he scored against the Czech Republic in the Euros back in June 2008.

Written by: Angela Asante

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