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Cristiano Ronaldo scores hattrick in Portugal win, passes Pele in goals table

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo struck his fifth international hat-trick, including a spectacular volleyed opener as he moved ahead of Pele on the list of all-time international scorers.

football Updated: Sep 01, 2017 16:49 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Porto
Cristiano Ronaldo,Pele,Cristiano Ronaldo Hattrick
Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed Pele in the all-time international goalscorers list.(AFP)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to move past Pele on the list of all-time international goalscorers as Portugal beat Faroe Islands 5-1 on Thursday to stay close to Switzerland at the top of Group B in World Cup European qualifying.

Ronaldo netted with a neat volley from inside the area then added two other goals to lift his career tally to 78 and surpass the great Pele, who scored 77 for Brazil.

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On the European list, Ronaldo is now six goals behind Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas.

Switzerland stayed perfect in qualifying by defeating Andorra 3-0 in a match interrupted by poor pitch conditions under heavy rain in St. Gallen.

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The Swiss lead the group with 21 points, three clear of Portugal, and are guaranteed to finish first or second. The winner automatically qualifies for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while the runner-up has to go through a playoff.

“Things are going well for me with Portugal,” Ronaldo said. “The team is playing well and we are still alive. We gained confidence after this victory and we will keep focused to make sure we can make it to the World Cup.”

Hungary stayed a distant third with 10 points after defeating last-placed Latvia 3-1 at home.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 16:47 IST