Cristiano Ronaldo is accustomed to scoring goals in big games, so it's no surprise he was at it again on Wednesday.

By Avi Creditor
June 05, 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo is accustomed to scoring goals in big games, so it's no surprise he was at it again on Wednesday.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal in its UEFA Nations League semifinal vs. Switzerland, scoring on a long-range free kick in the 25th minute in Porto, and he closed the scoring as well, tallying twice late to cement his hat trick and his nation's place in the final of the inaugural competition with a 3-1 win.

Ronaldo got his first by looping the ball over the wall and into the far end of the net, while goalkeeper Yann Sommer stayed rooted to the ground, giving Portugal the 1-0 lead. 

Portugal reached the semifinals without Ronaldo's help, topping a League A group that featured Italy and Poland in the fall. He's returned to the national team after a break following the World Cup, though, looking to guide it to a second European trophy after Portugal won Euro 2016 in France.

That task became more challenging in the 57th minute, when Switzerland drew level after a bizarre use of VAR confirmed a penalty for the visitors. Ricardo Rodriguez scored from the spot, making the score 1-1, but after both Switzerland and Portugal had appeals for a penalty. The Swiss first had their shout, and play continued, with Portugal thinking it had won a penalty on the other end. The referee consulted with the video review to look over the Swiss penalty and ultimately gave it, despite what had already followed.

Ronaldo emerged as the hero, though, scoring in the 88th and 90th minutes to punch Portugal's final ticket. He now has 88 international goals, inching him closer to the all-time men's record held by Iran's Ali Daei (109).

Portugal will face either England or the Netherlands in the first UEFA Nations League final on Sunday, while Switzerland will play the other loser in a third-place game.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)