Cristiano Ronaldo escapes red card as Portugal star studs keeper in face | Football | Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo was fortunate to avoid a red card during Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Slovakia on Friday night after catching their goalkeeper with a dangerous challenge. The former Manchester United star lunged in for a tackle with Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka and the shot-stopper came off much worse from the 50-50 collision, with Ronaldo perhaps lucky to escape further punishment from the officials.

The 38-year-old had been left frustrated by his goalless game against Slovakia, although the Selecao led 1-0 through his former club team-mate Bruno Fernandes’ strike in the 43rd minute.

Ronaldo would get his chance to add his name to the scoresheet when the ball fell kindly to the veteran goalscorer inside the penalty area, but he snatched at the chance and mishit the first effort.

The ball bobbled away from him as he desperately dived feet-first towards the ball with Dubravka rushing off his line to smother it.

And Ronaldo appeared to catch the Slovakian’s neck with his studs, prompting outrage from the hosts as Dubravka laid still down on the floor.

Ronaldo did look apologetic as he rushed over to Dubravka to check on his state, while Slovakia’s players crowded referee Glenn Nyberg demanding the Dutch official show him a red card.

However, after a brief VAR check, the referee’s on-field decision to give the Portugal icon a yellow card stood, although replays showed Ronaldo was perhaps fortunate to escape a dismissal for his lunge.

Portugal went on to win by the same 1-0 scoreline to maintain their perfect record under Roberto Martinez in Group H, with five wins from five and 15 goals scored without reply.

Ronaldo was unable to add to his five goals in Euro 2024 qualifying despite playing the full 90 minutes and attempting five shots in the game.

But the legendary goalscorer can at least console himself with the idea that his all-time record of 123 goals in 200 caps is unlikely to ever be beaten.

He has been in fine form since joining Al-Nassr in November last year, bagging 26 goals in just 30 appearances for the Saudi Arabian club.



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