Qualifying round (Group F) - 06/09/2013 - 20:45CET (19:45 local time) - Windsor Park - Belfast
2-4
 

Northern Ireland - Portugal 2-4 - 06/09/2013 - Match page - FIFA World Cup 2014

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Ronaldo hits three as Portugal prevail in Northern Ireland

Published: Friday 6 September 2013, 22.45CET
Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 15-minute second-half hat-trick to crown an exciting comeback win for the Group F leaders in a game that featured three red cards.
Ronaldo hits three as Portugal prevail in Northern Ireland
Cristiano Ronaldo's treble took Portugal to victory ©Getty Images

Match statistics

Northern IrelandPortugal

Goals scored2
 
4
Total attempts3
 
16
Attempts on target3
 
12
off target0
2
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners6
 
6
Offsides2
 
0
Yellow cards5
 
3
Red Cards2
 
1
Fouls committed10
 
5
Fouls suffered5
 
9

Standings

Published: Friday 6 September 2013, 22.45CET

Ronaldo hits three as Portugal prevail in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 15-minute second-half hat-trick to crown an exciting comeback win for the Group F leaders in a game that featured three red cards.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 15-minute second-half hat-trick as Portugal beat Northern Ireland to move two points clear in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F.

With his side trailing 2-1, Ronaldo seized the game by the scruff of the neck scoring two thumping headers and a fierce deflected free-kick to win a rain-soaked contest dominated by set pieces. Centre-backs Bruno Alves and Gareth McCauley had swapped first-half goals from corners before Hélder Postiga (43) was dismissed; Jamie Ward (52) put the home side in front seven minutes after half-time before a red card for Chris Brunt turned the tide of an entertaining affair.

Alves' opener set the tone, his soft volley from João Moutinho's semi-cleared corner deceiving Roy Carroll to nestle in the bottom corner. McAuley levelled matters, though, springing at the near post to plant a firm header inside the far upright.

Momentum swung towards the hosts when Postiga was sent off for violent conduct on the cusp of half-time, and Northern Ireland made the extra man count soon after; Jamie Ward forcing another corner past Ruí Patrício.

The thrilling match took another twist on the hour, though, as Brunt picked up his second yellow card. A suddenly buoyant Portugal dominated thereafter and Ronaldo showed his class to earn the match ball and decide the contest. 

The hosts' wounds were salted when Kyle Lafferty's late challenge made him the third dismissal of the evening with ten minutes left, finally ensuring the points would be going to Portugal.

Last updated: 07/09/13 22.45CET

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http://www.uefa.com/worldcup/season=2014/matches/round=2000294/match=2008682/postmatch/report/index.html#ronaldo+treble+lifts+portugal

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