Cristiano Ronaldo scored two stoppage-time headers as Portugal rallied from behind to win 2-1 against Egypt, who had taken the lead though Mohamed Salah’s second-half strike, in a match billed as a stage for two of Europe’s current top strikers.
After a tame first half, Salah, who scored 28 Premier League goals this season so far, brought his superb domestic form to the international arena during a lively showing, and opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a sharp left-footed finish from the edge of the area.
Indeed, Egypt had looked superb and displayed defensive discipline under Argentine coach Hector Cuper as they looked primed to hold on for a famous victory until Ronaldo’s late intervention.
The Real Madrid star first met a Ricardo Quaresma cross in the 92nd minute to head home past the previously excellent Ahmed El-Shenawy, who fumbled the ball over his line.
Not content with that, he added a second just moments later when he rose again to divert a free kick from Quaresma into the far corner, and sealed the win.
The crowd, who were keen for a restart to equalize, were annoyed and jeered as there was initial confusion when the match referee consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) system for a possible offside before allowing Portugal’s second goal.
With the brace, Ronaldo moved into third place all-time with 81 international goals — past Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto and behind only Iran’s Ali Daei (109) and Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas (84).
The former Manchester United star has also made it 43 goals in 40 appearances this season as Portugal laid down a marker before the World Cup, with 23 of those coming from his last 12 games.