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Ronaldo limps off as England, France pick up Euro qualifying wins

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25th March, 2019
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Cristiano Ronaldo has injured his right leg and had to be substituted before halftime of Portugal’s 2020 European Championship qualifying 1-1 draw with Serbia while England trounced Montenegro and France overwhelmed Iceland.

Serbia went in front in Lisbon when Dusan Tadic scored from the penalty spot in the seventh minute after goalkeeper Rui Patricio fouled Mijat Gacinovic.

Danilo Pereira levelled three minutes before halftime but European champions Portugal could only manage a second home draw in Group B.

Ronaldo pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury when sprinting after the ball in the 28th minute at the Stadium of Light.

He limped off the field of play and signalled to the bench to request a substitution before he received treatment on the sidelines.

Ronaldo, who had already been treated for a bleeding nose earlier in the match, walked back to the bench on his own and was replaced by Pizzi Fernandes on 31 minutes.

England’s impressive start in Group A continued with a first win in Montenegro but the 5-1 victory was overshadowed by racist chanting.
Marko Vesovic’s early strike had the hosts dreaming but Michael Keane’s equaliser, Ross Barkley’s brace and goals from Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling sealed the three points at the Gradski Stadion.

Sterling made a gesture with his ears towards the Montenegro fans after scoring and there were monkey chants aimed at Danny Rose towards the end.

Olivier Giroud proved invaluable for France as he netted his 35th international goal as the world champions demolished Iceland 4-0 at home to move to the head of Group H.

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Giroud added to Samuel Umtiti’s early opener in the second half before Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann rounded off a routine win.

Turkey made it two wins from as many games in qualifying with a 4-0 home thumping of Moldova to trail the French on goal difference.

Cenk Tosun scored twice (26th and 65th) after Hasan Ali Kaldirim (24th) opened the scoring and Kaan Ayhan (70th) completed the rout.

Moldova keeper Alexei Koselev saved Brurak Yilmiz’s 53rd-minute penalty but Tosun scored from the ensuing corner.

In other results, Kosovo and Bulgaria drew 1-1 in Group A, Ukraine edged Luxembourg 2-1 in Group B while Albania won 3-0 at Andorra in Group H.

© AAP