Cristiano Ronaldo nets 100th Portugal goal in Nations League win over Sweden

Cristiano Ronaldo nets 100th Portugal goal in Nations League win over Sweden

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo rattled home a superb first-half free kick against Sweden for his 100th international goal – and struck another spectacular effort in the second half to seal a 2-0 Nations League win in Stockholm.

The 35-year-old was a constant threat to Sweden’s defence, and the hosts made their task even tougher when Gustav Svensson received his second yellow card for a reckless challenge on João Moutinho. Ronaldo stepped up and smashed a dipping free kick beyond the despairing dive of Robin Olsen and just under the crossbar.

The Juventus player followed that up with another curling, dipping strike in the 73rd minute – this time from open play. He is only the second male footballer to record a century of international goals, and is now just eight behind the record holder, Iran’s Ali Daei. Ronaldo’s first Portugal goal came in the opening game of Euro 2004 against Greece.

Portugal are top of Group A3 on goal difference, ahead of France who beat Croatia 4-2 in Paris – a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final scoreline. The visitors took a 17th-minute lead through centre-back Dejan Lovren, who beat Hugo Lloris with a crisp left-foot shot. Antoine Griezmann missed a sitter for the hosts before sweeping home a 43rd-minute equaliser.

Dayot Upamecano heads home his first France goal on his second appearance.

France were ahead before half time, as Anthony Martial scrambled a shot onto the post, the ball rebounding in off the Croatia goalkeeper, Dominik Livakovic. Substitute Josip Brekalo levelled with a fine solo effort in the 55th minute, muscling his way past three defenders before steering the ball past Lloris.

France edged back ahead 10 minutes later, Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano heading home a Griezmann corner for his first international goal. Olivier Giroud then sealed victory for Didier Deschamps’ side with a 77th-minute penalty as they joined Portugal on six points. Croatia, by contrast, have lost both games and conceded eight goals.

Belgium took control of Group A2 after a 5-1 thrashing of Iceland moved them two points clear of England, who were held to a goalless draw in Denmark. Michy Batshuayi scored twice for the hosts, who rallied impressively after falling behind early on in Brussels. Holmbert Fridjonsson had given Iceland a 10th-minute lead, but Axel Witsel equalised just three minutes later and Batshuayi put Belgium ahead on 17 minutes.

In the second half, Dries Mertens finished from Kevin De Bruyne’s through ball before the Napoli forward set up Batshuayi for his second, finished with a clever backheel. Anderlecht teenager Jérémy Doku then grabbed a spectacular goal on his full debut, cutting inside his marker and firing the ball into the top corner.