Ronaldo, Portugal win but trail Switzerland in World Cup qualifying

November 13, 2016

LUCERNE, Switzerland (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and missed a penalty in Portugal's 4-1 win over Latvia in World Cup qualifying on Sunday, but the European champion still trails group leader Switzerland.

Switzerland kept its 100 percent record with a fourth straight win but was often labored in beating the Faeroe Islands 2-0.

Goals in each half from recalled forward Eren Derdiyok and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner were enough on a rain-swept evening.

The Swiss stay three points ahead of Portugal, due to its victory when the teams played in September to open the qualifying program.

Ronaldo, who missed that game in Switzerland, has scored seven of Portugal's 16 goals in three games since.

Against Latvia, Ronaldo opened the scoring with a 28th-minute spot kick, then saw his penalty in the 59th hit the left-hand post and bounce away off the goalkeeper's legs.

Latvia levelled through substitute Arturs Zjuzins in the 67th before Portugal substitute Ricardo Quaresma's crosses let William Carvalho restore the lead with a header and Ronaldo make the win safe with a volley. Defender Bruno Alves added a fourth in stoppage time.

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Third-place Hungary beats Andorra 4-0.

Switzerland has seemed to ease off against the group outsiders since starting with impressive wins against its two closest rivals.

Still, the Swiss were seldom threatened and also struck the frame of the goal in each half against the Faeroe Islands, who lost 6-0 at home to Portugal last month.

Derdiyok showed high-class technique to open the scoring in the 27th minute, taking a long lofted ball from Valon Behrami with a controlling first touch. He then struck a low left-foot shot past goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen.

It was the 11th goal of Derdiyok's 56-match international career which has only rarely fulfilled the 28-year-old forward's early promise.

Admir Mehmedi's shot struck a post in the 78th five minutes before Lichtsteiner sealed the three points. The veteran right-back advanced deep into the penalty area to meet left-back Ricardo Rodriguez's cross with a bouncing header.

In Budapest, Hungary captain Balazs Dzudzsak created first-half goals for 37-year-old Zoltan Gera and Adam Lang. Adam Gyursco and Adam Szalai added late goals.

Hungary has seven points from four matches, and next travels to play Portugal in March. Then, Switzerland will be favored to beat Latvia at home.

Belgium crushes Estonia

A last-gasp goal by Giorgos Tzavelas allowed Greece to escape with a 1-1 draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday, while Group H leader Belgium crushed Estonia 8-1.

Belgium remains perfect with 12 points from four games, and has scored 21 goals with only one conceded.

Dries Mertens scored in each half against Estonia, while Romelu Lukaku snatched two late goals to add to the visitors' misery.

Second-placed Greece trails Belgium by two points after being held at home. Tzavelas scored with a blistering shot outside the area in the fifth minute of injury time after Bosnia's defense only half-cleared a long throw-in by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Bosnia, which dominated most of the game in Piraeus, had taken the lead in the 33rd after Miralem Pjanic's free-kick bounced off the right post and then goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis' back before finding the net.

Both teams ended the game with 10 men, with Kyriakos Papadopoulos getting a red card for striking Edin Dzeko — in his attempts to wrestle the ball away — and Dzeko getting a second yellow card.

Cyprus beat Gibraltar 3-1 in the group's other game.

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