Cristiano Ronaldo has added yet another record to his collection, and one of the most prestigious too, by becoming Portugal’s all-time leading scorer after scoring twice in a 5-1 victory over Cameroon on Wednesday.
Level with former striker Pauleta, who had scored 47 in 88 appearances, going into the friendly international, Ronaldo’s double means he has now notched 49 in 110 outings for his country. The Real Madrid forward’s goals bookmarked a victory for Portugal in the meeting between the two World Cup finalists in Leiria.
Portugal, who qualified when Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick in their playoff against Sweden, went ahead in the 21st minute through their talisman. Right-back Joao Pereira pulled the ball back to Ronaldo on the edge of the box and, after cleverly sidestepping a defending he drilled the ball low into the corner of the net. But the African hopefuls were level before half-time when Lorient striker Vincent Aboubakar took advantage of some slack Portuguese defending to turn and beat Beto with a low shot.
But Cameroon fell apart in 18 second-half minutes to allow Portugal to run riot with four goals. It all started in the 66th minute when Galatasaray defender Aurelien Chedjou’s pass out of defense was easily intercepted by Fenerbahce’s Raul Meireles and the Portugal midfielder took advantage with a simple finish.
There was some more abject defending less than two minutes later to allow Fabio Coentrao to finish from Ivan Cavalero’s pass. Ronaldo then got an assist for Portugal’s fourth after his shot from the angle was blocked by Cameroon’s substitute goalkeeper Guy N’Dy straight to the feet of Edinho to finish from close range. And Ronaldo had the final word with seven minutes remaining. The 29-year-old capitalized on some timid defending to turn and fire past N’Dy to complete a positive night for a Portugal team that faces a tough group at the World Cup with Germany, Ghana and the United States.