Cristiano Ronaldo has become the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football, with two late goals salvaging a win for Portugal over a resilient Republic of Ireland side at the Estádio Algarve in Faro.
Ronaldo now has 111 international goals, two more than legendary Iranian Ali Daei, whose record he equalled at the European Championships.
However it looked like the 36-year-old had blown his chance for long periods of the World Cup qualifier against Ireland.
Ronaldo had a 15th minute spot-kick saved by Gavin Bazunu after his new Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes was fouled by Jeff Hendrick.
It was Ronaldo’s first international penalty miss in his last seven attempts, since the 2018 World Cup clash with Iran.
To make matters worse, Ireland scored on the stroke of half-time through John Egan, handing Ireland — still winless in World Cup qualification — an unlikely lead.
From that moment on, it looked like it was not going to be Ronaldo’s — or Portugal’s — night.
The hosts continued to dominate Ireland, controlling possession to the tune of 73 per cent while fashioning 29 shots on goal to the Republic’s five.
However, just seven of those shots were on target — although plenty more were blocked en route to the Irish goal.
Ronaldo even had a late chance from a free kick that was well saved by Portsmouth keeper Bazunu.
However, with Portugal facing its first qualifying defeat of the campaign, Ronaldo stepped up in dramatic fashion, scoring his 110th international goal in the 89th minute of the game with a powerful near-post header.
He then broke Irish hearts, scoring his second, another brilliant header, deep into stoppage time — his 111th international goal in what was his 180th international cap.
He still has some way to go to beat the all-time international record, though.
Christine Sinclair of Canada remains the most prolific scorer in international football.
The 38-year-old scored her 187th goal at the Tokyo Olympics, where she won gold last month.