Andorra wins again after 13 years; Ronaldo leads Portugal
ANDORRA LA VELLA, Andorra (AP) — Andorra made history by beating Hungary 1-0 to win its first World Cup qualifier in 13 years on Friday, ending a 66-match winless streak in official competitions.
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his good form by scoring two goals and setting up another in Portugal’s 3-0 win at Latvia, while Switzerland kept its perfect record after six qualifiers with a 2-0 victory at the Faeroe Islands in the night’s other Group B match.
It was only the second win for the small country of Andorra in qualifying for either the World Cup or the European Championship, and the first since a 1-0 win over Macedonia in October 2004. Earlier this year, it had beaten San Marino in a friendly for its first win after 86 consecutive matches.
Ronaldo, who scored twice for Real Madrid in its 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final last weekend, increased his tally for Portugal to 11 goals in five European qualifying matches this season.
Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri scored for group leader Switzerland, which reached 18 points from six matches. Portugal moved to 15 points, eight in front of Hungary.
Faeroe Island stayed with five points, one ahead of Andorra. Latvia remained with three points and dropped to last place.
Only the top team in each group automatically qualifies for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
“We are not thinking about Switzerland right now,” Portugal defender Jose Fonte said. “We’ll just keep doing our job and then we’ll see what we need when we play against them in the last match.”
LATVIA 0, PORTUGAL 3
Ronaldo opened the scoring from close range in the 41st minute after Jose Fonte’s header hit the post and bounced back toward the Real Madrid forward inside the area.
Ronaldo added to the lead with a header after a right-flank cross that deflected off a defender in 63rd, and four minutes later he set up Andre Silva’s easy goal from inside the area.
It was Portugal’s fifth straight victory after its 2-0 opening loss in Switzerland.
FAEROE ISLANDS 0, SWITZERLAND 2
Switzerland comfortably defeated Faeroe Islands for its sixth win in a row.
Xhaka opened the scoring in the first half and Shaqiri added to the lead in the second.
The Swiss had beaten Faeroe Islands by the same score at home.
The only other team with a perfect record so far is Germany in Group C. The defending World Cup champions host San Marino on Saturday.
ANDORRA 1, HUNGARY 0
Several Andorra players were in tears after the final whistle, having secured a historic victory.
Marc Rebes scored the winner with a 26th-minute header from the far side of the area, sending the ball over the head of Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
It was only the second goal for Andorra in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. The other had come in a 2-1 home loss to Switzerland.