Cristiano Ronaldo scores double as Portugal beat Bosnia 6-2 in Euro 2012 playoffs
Portugal win 6-2 on aggregate to reach finals in Ukraine and Poland next year
Ronaldo equals Luis Figo's Portugal record of 32 international goals
Republic of Ireland, Croatia and Czech Republic also progress
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Portugal beat 10-man Bosnia-Herzegovina 6-2 on Tuesday to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals.
With the playoff first leg in Bosnia tied 0-0, Portugal were looking for a fast start and got it as Real Madrid star Ronaldo netted early with a trademark free-kick.
A second from Manchester United’s Nani after 26 minutes looked to have eased Portugal’s path to Ukraine and Poland next year, but Zvezjdan Misimovic converted an early second-half penalty following Fabio Coentrao’s handball.
Ronaldo then scored a superb second to equal Luis Figo’s international record of 32 for Portugal and put his side 3-1 ahead.
An incident-packed second half saw Bosnia lose Senad Lulic for a second yellow, but a goal from Emir Spahic gave them renewed hope against the nervy hosts.
However, a late double from Helder Postiga and a further strike from Miguel Veloso saw the Euro 2004 runners-up romp home in spectacular style.
They were joined in the finals, as expected, by the Republic of Ireland, who drew 1-1 with Estonia to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory after a decisive four-goal win Friday’s first leg.
The Irish – whose only previous appearance in the finals of a European Championship was in 1988 – opened the scoring through Stephen Ward after 32 minutes.
Estonia’s Konstantin Vassiljev equalized in the second half with a long-range shot which eluded goalkeeper Shay Given.
The Czech Republic booked a fifth successive Euro finals place with a 1-0 win in Montenegro.
The Czechs led 2-0 from the first leg in Prague, and a fine individual goal from Petr Jiracek in the 81st minute sealed their qualification.
It was a similar story in Croatia, where the home side, who led Turkey 3-0 from the first leg, played out a 0-0 draw to go through.