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Cris­tiano Ron­aldo scored his 700th ca­reer goal but couldn’t keep Por­tu­gal from los­ing 2-1 to Ukraine in qual­i­fy­ing for the 2020 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship Mon­day.

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Cris­tiano Ron­aldo scored his 700th ca­reer goal but couldn’t keep Por­tu­gal from los­ing 2-1 to Ukraine in qual­i­fy­ing for the 2020 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship on Mon­day.

Ukraine qual­i­fied for Euro 2020 with the vic­tory, its sixth in seven matches in Group B. Por­tu­gal re­mains in sec­ond place and will need to keep bat­tling for its spot in the re­main­ing rounds.

“We played more with the heart than with the head, es­pe­cially af­ter 2-1,” Por­tu­gal coach Fer­nando San­tos said. “We cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties but didn’t score.”

Ron­aldo net­ted his mile­stone goal for club and coun­try by con­vert­ing a penalty kick in the 72nd minute, when the de­fend­ing Euro­pean cham­pi­ons al­ready trailed by two goals. It was the sev­enth goal in six qual­i­fy­ing matches for Ron­aldo, and his 95th over­all with Por­tu­gal.

“The records come nat­u­rally,” Ron­aldo said. “I don’t go af­ter them, they come af­ter me. I’m al­ready think­ing about to­mor­row, about scor­ing No. 701 in my next match.”

Ron­aldo has also scored 450 goals for Real Madrid, 118 for Manch­ester United, 32 for his cur­rent club Ju­ven­tus, and five for Sport­ing Lis­bon.

“It’s not an easy num­ber to reach,” Ron­aldo said. “I have to thank ev­ery­one who has helped me. It’s un­for­tu­nate that it came in a loss.”

Ro­man Yarem­chuk had put Ukraine ahead less than 10 min­utes into the match, and An­driy Yar­molenko added to the lead near the half-hour mark. Ukraine played with 10 men af­ter de­fender Taras Stepa­nenko was sent off with a sec­ond yel­low card for the hand­ball that led to the penalty con­verted by Ron­aldo.

Por­tu­gal kept press­ing un­til the end but couldn’t find the equal­izer. Ron­aldo had a few good chances, and Danilo came close with a lon­grange shot that struck the cross­bar in stop­page time.

“We cre­ated enough sit­u­a­tions to win the game,” Danilo said. “There are days like th­ese, when the ball just doesn’t want to go in. No need to do the math now, we just need to win the next two games to reach Euro 2020.”

Por­tu­gal’s last two qual­i­fy­ing matches are against Lithua­nia and at Luxembourg.

Ukraine reached 19 points, eight more than Por­tu­gal and nine more than third-place Ser­bia, which won 2-1 at Lithua­nia.

Ukraine, which would have qual­i­fied even with a draw, has lost one of its last 19 matches and has only con­ceded more than one goal in four of its last 29 games.

Por­tu­gal and Ukraine had drawn 0-0 in their group opener in Por­tu­gal.

Racist abuse twice halts Eng­land’s vic­tory

SOFIA, Bul­garia (AFP) — Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate said his side made a state­ment by de­cid­ing to com­plete a 6-0 Euro 2020 qual­i­fy­ing win over Bul­garia af­ter the match was twice halted by racist chant­ing.

The vis­i­tors led 2-0 through early goals from Mar­cus Rash­ford and Ross Barkley when play was first stopped and an an­nounce­ment made to sup­port­ers that the game could be sus­pended if of­fen­sive chant­ing con­tin­ued.

Once restarted, Eng­land quickly made it 3-0 through Barkley be­fore a sec­ond stop­page as Croa­t­ian ref­eree Ivan Be­bek held dis­cus­sions with play­ers and coach­ing staff from both sides.

Ra­heem Ster­ling then net­ted twice ei­ther side of half-time be­fore Harry Kane rounded off the scor­ing to take Eng­land to the brink of qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

“We know it is an un­ac­cept­able sit­u­a­tion,” South­gate told Bri­tish broad­caster ITV.

“I think we’ve man­aged to make two state­ments re­ally by win­ning the game, but also we have raised the aware­ness of ev­ery­body to the sit­u­a­tion.


Por­tu­gal‘s Cris­tiano Ron­aldo makes his­tory with his 700th ca­reer goal af­ter scor­ing a penalty dur­ing the UEFA Euro 2020 qual­i­fy­ing round, Group B soc­cer match Ukraine vs Por­tu­gal at Olympic sta­dium, in Kiev, Ukraine, Mon­day.

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