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Ronaldo's hat-trick fires Portugal to Nations League final

By Vincent Ashitey
Ronaldo's hat-trick fires Portugal to Nations League final
Ronaldo's hat-trick fires Portugal to Nations League final

Cristiano Ronaldo's late double completed a stunning hat-trick as Portugal reached the Nations League final after sensational VAR drama.

Switzerland had levelled with a penalty given on a video replay - which overturned a spot-kick to Portugal from an incident just seconds later.

Ronaldo's first dramatic intervention had sparked and finished off Portugal's opener midway through a tight first half

Slightly fortunate to win a free-kick 25 yards out, the Juventus superstar certainly swerved it past the wall well enough but keeper Yann Sommer was strangely rooted as the ball fizzed in on his side of the goal.

And Ronaldo teed up Benfica's 19-year-old striker Joao Felix, a reported target for both Manchester clubs, for a gaping chance he blazed wide.

But all that went before was overshadowed by a spot of VAR controversy early in a second period that Switzerland began busily and contested keenly throughout.

Referee Felix Brych awarded a blatant penalty when Fabian Schar upended Portugal playmaker Bernardo Silva close to goal - only to end up giving a spot-kick to Switzerland instead.

To the shock and fury of home players, Brych not only ruled out Portugal's spot-kick, he also penalised Semeo.

That enabled Ricardo Rodriguez to rifle home a so-so penalty equaliser that went in under the diving body of Rui Patricio.

Switzerland continued to unsettle their more fancied hosts, Zuber drilling one volley wide.

But Ronaldo popped up twice just when it seemed, for once, the maestro might play second fiddle to the monitor.

First, he flashed home a right-footer on the turn, courtesy of Silva's unselfish cut-back on 88 minutes.

Then, a minute later, Ronaldo struck last and best, snaking inside from the left following a lightning breakaway from Portugal to curve the ball into the far corner.

Source: thesun