PORTO – Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat trick as
Ronaldo’s free kick opened the scoring midway through the first half, but the Swiss levelled when the referee overturned his decision to award Portugal a penalty to give a spot-kick at the other end after a VAR review, and Ricardo Rodriguez levelled.
The game seemed destined to head for extra time, but as ever Ronaldo stepped up to be the hero with two expert finishes in the final two minutes.
The hosts will now face
However, the five-time world player of the year returned to the national team in March, and was always likely to be the centre of attention on a day when it was reported a rape lawsuit against him had been dropped.
A lawyer for the American woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Ronaldo – accusations he has strongly denied – later dismissed that report, saying the lawsuit had not been dropped.
Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer was fooled by the wicked swerve as Ronaldo’s free kick from the edge of the area flew into his bottom left-hand corner.
City are reportedly set to pay Felix’s €120 million buyout clause from Benfica, but the 19-year-old missed a glaring chance to mark his international debut with a goal just before the break as he blasted over from Ronaldo’s pass.
However, it took the help of VAR to get them back in the game in a moment of huge controversy just before the hour mark.
However, the German referee then reviewed a Swiss penalty appeal he had waved away for a foul by Nelson Semedo on Steven Zuber and overturned his initial decision.
🇵🇹 Portugal are in the #NationsLeague final! 🎉🎉🎉— UEFA Nations League (@UEFAEURO) June 5, 2019
Thanks to a hat-trick from. Cristiano Ronaldo! ⚽️⚽️⚽️
Rodriguez drilled home the resultant spot-kick much to the fury of the home supporters at the Estadio do Dragao.
The Swiss could then have gone in front when Benfica forward Haris Seferovic headed just wide.
Moments later, the hosts sealed their place in the final on the counter-attack as Ronaldo curled into the far corner to take his tally of international goals to 88.