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Manchester United superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes
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Manchester United superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have taken a step closer to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after helping Portugal to a crucial victory over Turkey. Diogo Dalot was also part of the starting line-up during a dramatic 3-1 win at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.
Having failed to qualify at the group stage, Portugal was drawn against Turkey in the first of two showdowns that are, effectively, a shootout to progress to the 2022 finals. Ronaldo and his international teammates are a step closer, now, after setting up a play-off decider with North Macedonia after their heroic result over Euro 2020 winners Italy.
Porto starlet Otavio was a surprise inclusion in the team and he repaid that faith with an early opener on his home ground. Otavio slotted into the net on the rebound after Liverpool star Diogo Jota struck the post.
Barring a short spell midway through the first half, Portugal was in full control during the opening 45 minutes and, moments before the interval, they left Turkey with a mountain to climb when Jota conjured up a fine-headed finish to make it 2-0 after combining with Otavio.
Winning his 185th cap, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo had few sights at goal – though he did blaze over when combining with United teammates Dalot and Fernandes early on. His attacking impact on a personal level, however, mattered little to the wider result for Portugal.
Jota went closest to making it 3-0 when he missed the target from distance upon the restart, and the Liverpool man was almost made to pay. Shortly afterward, having seemed down and out, Turkey gave themselves a lifeline when a well-executed strike from captain Burak Yilmaz beat Diogo Costa.
However, Turkey’s hero soon became a villain. In the final ten minutes, Turkey was awarded a contentious penalty by VAR and Yilmaz stepped up and sent his spot-kick over the bar.
Up the other end, there was still time for substitute Matheus Nunes to settle any lingering nerves. Next up for Dalot, Fernandes, Ronaldo, and Portugal next Tuesday night is a meeting with North Macedonia, who shocked Italy in injury time, in the play-off final.

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