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2020 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (7' PEN, 22', 65')
  • Pizzi (52')
  • Gonçalo Paciência (56')
  • Bernardo Silva (63')

Ronaldo scores hat trick, closes in on 100 goals as Portugal hit six past Lithuania

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Ronaldo scores hat trick as Portugal cruise (1:42)

Cristiano Ronaldo regained his swagger as Portugal hit six past Lithuania. Watch Euro 2020 qualifying on ESPN+. (1:42)

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored another hat trick, moving closer to 100 international goals, as he led the European champions to a 6-0 drubbing of Lithuania in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday.

Ronaldo, whose hat trick was the 55th of his career and ninth for Portugal, has 98 goals and could become only the second player to score a century for his country after Iran's Ali Daei.

Pizzi, Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva shared the other goals in the one-sided Group B match.

The defending champions, however, were left waiting to confirm their place at next year's finals after Serbia beat Luxembourg 3-2. Portugal are second with 14 points, one ahead of Serbia, and will qualify if they win in Luxembourg on Sunday. Leaders Ukraine have qualified.

Ronaldo showed no sign of the knee problem which led to him being substituted in his last two games for Juventus -- prompting an angry reaction on the second occasion -- and could easily have reached his 100 on Thursday.

Coach Fernando Santos declared that he never had any doubts about Portugal's most-capped player.

"I asked him if he was okay to play, it was just a case of having a conversation with him," he said. "I never had any doubts about his condition, it was other people who had them. Nothing surprises me about Cristiano."

He was quick was quick off the mark, winning and converting a penalty in the seventh minute.

The 34-year-old got to the ball ahead of Saulius Mikoliunas, who clipped his heel, and converted the spot-kick with a shot into the middle of the goal which hit goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus' foot on the way in.

Lithuania paid for more sloppiness 15 minutes later as they lost the ball in midfield and Paciencia slipped the ball quickly to Ronaldo who produced a wicked, dipping first-time shot which flew past the bemused Setkus from 25 metres.

He had another shot on the turn saved by Setkus and blasted over after bursting into the box before the break.

Pizzi, Paciencia and Silva scored in an 11-minute spell after halftime and Ronaldo sent two efforts agonisingly wide as the siege continued.

He completed his hat trick from Silva's pass in the 65th minute before Paciencia set him up nicely for a fourth but Ronaldo fired over the bar.