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While You Were Asleep: Rough night for Ronaldo, Haaland scores again, unstoppable Mitrovic

Portugal thrashed Czech Republic 4-0. Aleksandar Mitrovic netted a hat trick to help Serbia beat Sweden 4-1. Erling Haaland scored for Norway but Slovenia fought back for a 2-1 home win.

(L-R) Cristiano Ronaldo endured nasty blow to his face in Portugal's 4-0 win over Czech Republic; Norway's Erling Haaland, left, and Slovenia's Jasmin Kurtic challenge for the ball; Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. (AP)

While Portugal rolled in Prague with a comfortable 4-0 win over Czech Republic, Cristiano Ronaldo had a rough night, first enduring a nasty blow to his face that made his nose bleed and required a small bandage. International soccer’s all-time leading scorer with 117 goals also committed a penalty that, fortunately for him, the Czechs failed to convert with the score 2-0.

Dalot put Portugal ahead in the 33rd minute when the right-back scored from a pass by Rafael Leão.

Bruno Fernandes doubled the lead in first-half injury time moments before Ronaldo was guilty of the handball inside his own area. But Patrik Schick wasted the penalty kick by sending it onto the crossbar.

Dalot put the result beyond all doubt in the 52nd with a curling shot into the corner.

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Ronaldo finished with an assist for Diogo Jota to take a fourth goal in the 82nd.

Haaland scores in Norway’s loss

Erling Haaland continued his red-hot goalscoring form but Norway’s bid for Nations League promotion suffered a setback in Slovenia.

Haaland, 22, scored his sixth goal in five games in the 2022-23 Nations League for the Group B4 leaders.

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But goals from Andraz Sporar and Benjamin Sesko turned the match in Slovenia’s favour in the second half.

Haaland has scored six of Norway’s seven Nations League goals and his latest strike, following a defensive error, takes his international tally to 21 goals in 22 games for his country.

He also has 14 goals in 10 games for Manchester City this season following his move to the Premier League champions from Borussia Dortmund.

Serbia thrashed Sweden 4-1

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Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic netted a hat-trick to lead a 4-1 victory over Sweden in Belgrade. Fulham striker Mitrovic, 28, scored Serbia’s first three goals before Sasa Lukic added a fourth midway through the second half.

Sweden took the lead against the run of play through Viktor Claesson in the 15th minute but they had no answer to the physicality of Serbia’s record goalscorer Mitrovic, who headed his side level three minutes later with his 47th international goal.

That goal got Serbia back on track, and Sweden had goalkeeper Robin Olsen to thank on the half-hour mark when he pulled off a superb double save to deny Dusan Vlahovic and Dusan Tadic.

Mitrovic was unstoppable and he put them ahead just before the break, shrugging off the Swedish defence before heading home a corner.

He completed his hat-trick three minutes after halftime, ghosting in behind Daniel Sundgren and firing home Vlahovic’s pass with his left foot.

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Mitrovic has now scored 49 goals in 75 appearances for his national side, taking his season tally to nine in eight games in all competitions.

First published on: 25-09-2022 at 07:59:18 am
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