Cristiano Ronaldo threw his captain’s armband to the bottom in anger after being controversially denied an injury-time winner as Portugal blew a two-goal lead towards Serbia in World Cup qualifying on Saturday, whereas Romelu Lukaku’s 59th worldwide purpose salvaged Belgium a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic. The Netherlands noticed off Latvia 2-0 after their opening Group G defeat by Turkey, who backed up that efficiency with a powerful 3-0 victory over Norway. Portugal drew 2-2 in Belgrade, regardless of Ronaldo believing he had scored the winner within the third minute of stoppage time when the ball appeared to cross the goalline earlier than Stefan Mitrovic cleared.
However with out know-how in use, the purpose was not awarded and a fuming Ronaldo was then booked for his protests.
On the remaining whistle he walked off the pitch in anger, throwing his captain’s armband to the bottom.
“I all the time give and can give all the things for my nation, that may by no means change,” Ronaldo later posted on his Instagram web page.
“However there are tough occasions to cope with, particularly after we really feel that a whole nation is being harmed.”
Portugal coach Fernando Santos instructed RTP: “We scored a purpose that was not given when the ball went in. In a match of this stage, that is not attainable.”
Portugal had gave the impression to be cruising to 3 factors in Belgrade when 2-0 up by way of Liverpool striker Diogo Jota’s first-half double.
However Nemanja Radonjic’s half-time introduction proved essential for Serbia as he arrange Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic to web within the first quarter-hour of the second interval.
Belgium, the world quantity one-ranked facet, sit behind the Czech Republic on purpose distinction within the early Group E standings.
Lukas Provod put the Czechs forward shortly after half-time in Prague with a powerful long-range strike, his first worldwide purpose.
Ten minutes later, Lukaku collected Kevin De Bruyne’s move, turned his marker and drilled the ball underneath goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik for his nineteenth purpose in his final 16 video games for Belgium.
Roberto Martinez’s males nearly took the lead 14 minutes from time, however after Lukaku teed up De Bruyne, the Manchester Metropolis midfielder smashed a low shot towards the submit.
“If you happen to take a look at Czech Republic’s outcomes these final months, we knew that it might be a tricky recreation,” Belgium captain Jan Vertonghen instructed VTM. “They created the nice probabilities, received nearly each second ball. However at dwelling we’re stronger.”
Within the different Group A recreation, Luxembourg pulled off a shock 1-0 win over a lacklustre Republic of Eire in Dublin.
Eire have been toothless in assault and the guests made them pay within the eighty fifth minute with Dynamo Kiev ahead Gerson Rodrigues’s winner.
It was solely Luxembourg’s sixth victory in World Cup qualifying since their first involvement in 1934.
Frank de Boer’s Netherlands gave the 5,000 followers allowed into the Johan Cruyff Enviornment in Amsterdam one thing to cheer as Steven Berghuis’s Thirty second-minute curling effort and Luuk de Jong’s second-half header noticed off Latvia.
“We all know that purpose distinction will likely be necessary in these qualifiers,” mentioned De Boer, who additionally noticed De Jong and Davy Klaassen hit the woodwork within the first World Cup qualifier to be refereed by a lady — France’s Stephanie Frappart.
Human rights protest
“We deserved to win with at the least 5 targets. We tried all the things.”
The Netherlands gamers adopted Norway and Germany by protesting in assist of human rights in Qatar, the place the 2022 World Cup finals will likely be held.
Fenerbahce midfielder Ozan Tufan scored twice as Turkey beat a harmful Norway facet.
Leicester centre-back Caglar Soyuncu additionally loved a superb efficiency as he netted the second purpose and helped maintain Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland quiet.
“Final yr we have certified for Euro 2020 and now we’re preventing for a spot within the World Cup,” Soyuncu instructed uefa.com. “We wish to be there.”
Russia, World Cup quarter-finalists on dwelling soil three years in the past, moved prime of the early Group H desk with a 2-1 victory over Slovenia, who had began their marketing campaign by beating 2018 runners-up Croatia.
Croatia struggled to search out their greatest type once more, however Mario Pasalic’s header 5 minutes earlier than the break helped Zlatko Dalic’s males edge out Cyprus 1-0 in Rijeka.
Slovakia are already struggling of their bid to qualify, after being held to a 2-2 dwelling draw by minnows Malta.