Skip to main content

Ronaldo fails to inspire Portugal

By James Masters, CNN
October 12, 2012 -- Updated 2132 GMT (0532 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating night as Portugal suffered a 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat against Russia in Moscow.
Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating night as Portugal suffered a 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat against Russia in Moscow.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo suffers disappointment on occasion of his 99th cap
  • Germany crushes Republic of Ireland 6-1
  • Pedro hat-trick seals 4-0 win for World champion Spain
  • Belgium secures stunning 3-0 win in Serbia

(CNN) -- Cristiano Ronaldo won his 99th international cap for Portugal -- but the Real Madrid superstar could not inspire his country as it slumped to a World Cup qualifying defeat in Russia.

Only Luis Figo (127) and Fernando Couto (110) have made more appearances for Portugal than Ronaldo, who will hope to reach his century against Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

Ronaldo had scored eight goals in his previous three games for Real Madrid, including a classy double against Barcelona in last Sunday's El Clasico.

Messi and Ronaldo ensure honors shared in 222nd El Clasico

But he was unable to prevent Russia from claiming a third consecutive victory in Group F to claim top spot as Fabio Capello's men recorded a 1-0 win.

Mourinho on the enigma of Balotelli
Cristiano Ronaldo: I'm better than Messi
Collymore on John Terry quitting

Alexander Kerzhakov's sixth minute strike was enough to secure Russia its first ever win over Portugal in the post-Soviet era.

Playing on the synthetic surface at Moscow's Luzhniki Arena, Portugal struggled to make a breakthrough against a stubborn Russian defense.

Russian keeper Igor Akinfeyev made two impressive saves to deny Ronaldo and Bruno Alves as the visitors pushed for an equalizer.

But the home side held out and might have even extended their lead further had Denos Glushakov and Roman Shirokov made the most of their opportunities.

"I can't say that we looked bad tonight," Portugal manager Paulo Bento told AFP.

"In general we played a good match. We reacted well on the goal we conceded and we followed the plan which we worked out before the match.

"Of course Russia played a great match but I think the result wasn't fair as I know my team is capable of playing top quality football. We came here to win and are really upset now."

FIFA Asia chief: 2022 Winter World Cup would 'make sense'

Germany underlined its credentials as potential World Cup winners with a 6-1 thrashing of the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

The defeat, Ireland's heaviest at home since 1931, came with the hosts missing several key players including captain Robbie Keane.

Marco Reus scored twice in eight minutes to give the Germans a 2-0 lead at the break, before goals from Mesut Ozil, Miroslav Klose and two Toni Kroos strikes left Ireland decimated.

Andy Keogh grabbed a consolation for Ireland but that failed to tarnish a Germany performance which sees them top Group C with maximum points.

Germany has not lost a World Cup qualifier in its past 16 matches with its last defeat coming against England in September 2001.

World and European champions Spain eased to a 4-0 win in Belarus courtesy of a hat-trick from Barcelona's Pedro.

Jordi Alba gave the visitors a 12th minute lead before Pedro stole the show with a classy treble to wrap up victory in the Group I encounter.

France warmed up for Tuesday's World Cup clash with Spain by losing its friendly match 1-0 to Japan in Paris.

Shinji Kagawa's 88th minute strike stunned the home crowd and left the French cursing an embarrassing defeat.

Vieira questions young players' 'lack of love' for England team

José Mourinho on managing star players
José Mourinho's press conference antics
Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist

Wayne Rooney moved up to fifth place in the list of England's all-time leading goalscorers after netting twice in a 5-0 win against minnows San Marino.

Rooney, who took his tally to 31 goals for his country, scored a goal in each half with his Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck also notching twice.

"There are some great players there and to be in the England top five is something to be proud of," he told ITV1. "I am only 26 so hopefully I will score a lot more.

"We created some good chances and maybe there was a bit of poor finishing but it's not that easy when they put 10 or 11 men behind the ball.

"It's difficult to break them down and we had to create chances and we managed to do that, so obviously we'll take the positives and it wasn't a bad result."

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain grabbed his first international goal to complete a routine win over a San Marino side ranked 207th out of 207 in the world rankings.

But there was bad news for Arsenal's Theo Walcott, who was taken to hospital for scans after being injured in a clash with San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini early on.

Italy was made to fight all the way in Yerevan before escaping with a 3-1 win over Armenia in Group B.

Juventus coach Conte has ban reduced to four months

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had canceled out Andrea Pirlo's penalty kick to bring the hosts level, before second half strikes from Daniele de Rossi and Pablo Osvaldo secured victory for Italy.

Sweden survived an embarrassing episode against the minnows of the Faroe Islands after recovering to sneak a 2-1 win in Group C

Rogvi Baldvinsson fired the Faroes ahead after 57 minutes to leave Sweden facing a monumental World Cup qualifying defeat against a team ranked 131 places below.

Fulham midfielder Alexander Kacaniklic grabbed an equalizer before Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagged a 75th minute winner.

Netherlands recorded a third consecutive victory with a comfortable 3-0 win over Andorra.

'Pitbull' Davids joins Barnet

Rafael van der Vaart, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ruben Schaken were on target as the Dutch made it nine points out of nine in Group D

They sit top of the group alongside Romania, which also has maximum points from its three games following a 1-0 win in Turkey.

Belgium recorded a superb win after inflicting Serbia's first competitive home defeat since April 2001.

The Belgians cruised to a 3-0 victory in Group A with goals from Christian Benteke, Kevin De Bruyne and Kevin Mirallas.

Croatia sits joint-top on seven points with Belgium following a 2-1 win over Macedonia.

Tottenham star Gareth Bale scored twice, including a stunning left-footed rocket, as Wales came from behind to defeat Scotland 2-1 in Group A.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.