Andre Silva’s hat-trick helps Portugal rout Faeroe Islands
Cristiano Ronaldo may have finally have found a worthy goalscoring partner in Portugal’s 6-0 rout the Faeroe Islands in World Cup qualifying on Monday.
Andre Silva, the 20-year-old Porto prospect, scored a first-half hat-trick before Ronaldo added a fourth midway through the second half in a comfortable visit to the North Atlantic for the European champion. In stoppage time, goals from Joao Moutinho and Joao Cancelo completed Portugal’s second six-goal shutout in four days. After Ronaldo scored four in a 6-0 win over Andorra on Friday, Silva stepped up to ensure Portugal took maximum points from the traditional minnows in Group B.
Portugal rose to second place in the standings over the previously unbeaten Faeroese, who had yet to concede a goal in two qualifiers.
Still, Portugal trails three points behind Switzerland, which hung on for a 2-1 victory at Andorra to extend its winning streak to three matches. Portugal lags behind because it lost 2-0 in Switzerland in the opener last month without Ronaldo or Silva in the starting lineup. Ronaldo was left out due to the knee injury he sustained in the European Championship final and Portugal led its attack with Eder, whose extra-time goal decided the Euro 2016 final against France. Silva has stayed in the team since Portugal coach Fernando Santos sent him on for Eder when trailing the Swiss by two goals at halftime.
His first Portugal goal came last Friday and his international record is now four in four games.
Ronaldo’s goal tally is 66 for a Portugal team that has mostly lacked a penalty-area predator to complement his all-around threat. Silva scored opportunistic goals in the 12th, 22nd and 37th minutes, mostly taking advantage of slack play in the Faeroe Islands defense.
Ronaldo struck with a rising left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.
ANDORRA 1, SWITZERLAND 2
Switzerland has its own prolific scorer in defender Fabian Schaer. The Hoffenheim center back took his goal record to seven in 27 international matches by scoring a 19thminute penalty. It was awarded for a trip by Andorra captain Ildefonso Lima on Admir Mehmedi who appeared to have lost control of the ball.
Mehmedi extended the lead in the 77th for the Swiss by connecting on a closerange header from Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross on the left side of the penalty area.
Andorra scored its first goal in World Cup qualification since September 2009 in the 90th minute. Alex Martinez fired in a shot from distance to the top left-hand corner of the Swiss goal.
LATVIA 0, HUNGARY 2
Hungary rose to third in the standings with its first win of the campaign. Winger Adam Gyurcso scored in the 10th and forward Adam Szalai sealed the win in the 77th. Szalai also scored twice in a 3-2 home loss against Switzerland on Friday.
Hungary has four points and a better goal difference than the Faeroe Islands which is fourth. Latvia has three points and last-place Andorra has zero. —AP