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Portugal Defeats Ireland in Final Euros Warm-Up

Portugal Defeats Ireland in Final Euros Warm-Up

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice for Portugal in their 3-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, in their final warm-up match before Euro 2024. Joao Felix also scored, helping Roberto Martinez’s team recover from last week’s loss to Croatia and boosting their confidence for the tournament in Germany.

Ronaldo, who watched the previous match from the bench, started against Ireland in Aveiro and came close in the first half before dominating in the second. Veteran defender Pepe, set to become the oldest player in Euros history at 41, also started.

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Despite Portugal’s perfect qualification record, recent performances had raised some doubts. Ronaldo acknowledged the high expectations, saying, “The Portuguese expect a lot from Portugal… we always want to win because of the generation and talent we have.”

Ronaldo will play in his record sixth Euro tournament, having debuted in 2004. “Playing for the Portuguese national team, it doesn’t get better than this,” he said, emphasizing the need for hard work alongside talent.

Felix opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a smart finish after a short corner routine. Ronaldo nearly doubled the lead, but his deflected free-kick hit the post. He appealed for a penalty and had another chance saved by Caoimhin Kelleher before finally scoring a sublime goal early in the second half.

Ronaldo added another goal after Diogo Jota’s assist, extending his international goal record to 130. He came close to a hat-trick but missed narrowly as Ireland, under interim coach John O’Shea, began to tire.

Felix highlighted the importance of the win, saying, “The game against Croatia brought us down a peg, but today we did a great job. We have 100 percent confidence going into Germany.”

Euro 2024 kicks off on Friday, and Portugal will face the Czech Republic in their first match on June 18, followed by games against Turkey and Georgia in Group D.