Cristiano Ronaldo scored four times as Portugal crushed Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.
Captain Ronaldo marked his 160th appearance for his country with a second hat-trick in as many internationals to take Portugal second in Group B five points behind leaders Ukraine.
Portugal, who opened the group with home draws against Ukraine and Serbia, started their recovery with a victory in Belgrade on Saturday. They have a game in hand on all the other teams in the group.
“We were better, we are better, and we won because of it,” said Fernando Santos, the Portugal manager. “We kept the pace after the win at Serbia, otherwise this triumph would make no sense, and we are closer.”
Ronaldo got scoring up and running with a penalty after only seven minutes against a team ranked 130th in the world. The second, with the scores level after an hour, was a scuffed low shot from outside the penalty area with goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus helping it on its way as the ball bounced horribly off the artificial surface in Vilnius. The dropping ball hit the back of the goalie’s head before rolling in. The third was a clinical volley from close range. The fourth was a low shot into the corner.
Vytautas Andriuskevicius scored the hosts’ only goal before William Carvalho added a fifth for the reigning European champions in injury time.