Euro qualifiers wrap: Ronaldo, Lewandowski get trebles

A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick helped Portugal bounce back from conceding a goal of the qualifying campaign contender to secure a 3-1 victory in Armenia.

The hosts took a shock lead when Marcos Pizzelli fired in an unstoppable free kick from fully 30 yards. But a needless Henrikh Mkhitaryan challenge on Joao Moutinho allowed Ronaldo to grab his first from the spot.

Ronaldo then put Portugal in front when he capitalised on a mix-up between Robert Arzumanyan and goalkeeper Roman Berezovski to score into an empty net.

Three minutes later, the Real Madrid forward completed his treble with a strike from distance that edged Portugal further ahead.

Portugal sit top of Group I on 12 points with Denmark – who host Serbia later on Saturday – and Albania both on seven.

The result means that Portugal extend their lead over Denmark and Albania at the top of the Group I table to five points with their rivals yet to play.

Polished Poles
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski (pictured in white) scored a hat-trick in the space of four minutes late in the game as Poland beat Georgia 4-0y.

Poland, who lead qualifying Group D, were in front in Warsaw thanks to a 62nd-minute strike by Arkadiusz Milik before captain Lewandowski doubled their lead in the 89th minute.

He then added another in the 92nd minute and completed a remarkable treble in the third minute of stoppage time to put the seal on a handsome win.

It is believed to be the second fastest hat-trick in the history of European Championship qualifying, bettered only by Arif Erdem, who scored three in three minutes for Turkey against Northern Ireland in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2000.

Lewandowski has now scored seven times in the campaign – the 26-year-old scored four times in the second half in a 7-0 win over Gibraltar last September.

He now has 26 international goals.
Poland are top of Group D with 14 points from six games, three points clear of Scotland and four ahead of Germany before the world champions’ game against Gibraltar later on Saturday.

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