Cristiano Ronaldo scores record-breaking goal to earn Portugal win


Cristiano Ronaldo became the record goalscorer in European Championship football as Portugal beat Armenia 1-0 in Faro. The Real Madrid forward took his tally in qualifying and tournament matches to 23, passing Dane Dahl Tomasson's total with a close-range finish on 71 minutes. The victory sees Fernando Santos's side get their Group I campaign back on track to move a point behind Denmark, who won 3-1 in Serbia, but have played one match more. Portugal suffered a shock defeat against Albania in Aveiro in their opening qualifier but recovered to beat Denmark 1-0 away and as expected made a positive start on Friday night at the Estadio Algarve, with Ronaldo the main focal point. Armenia, though, remained dangerous on the break and were away quickly after the Real Madrid forward had gone down in the box, but the referee waved away half-hearted penalty appeals. Metalurh Donetsk midfielder Karlen Mkrtchyan scampered away down the left, before he was upended by Ricardo Carvalho, which earned the Portugal defender a yellow card. The resulting free-kick was well struck by Mkrtchyan, and as the end of the wall parted, goalkeeper Rui Patricio scrambled across the claw the ball away. Portugal had plenty of the ball, but were unable to really open up a well-drilled Armenia defence. Just before half-time, Helder Postiga shot wide from 12 yards. The frustrations for the home support continued in the second half, when, on 59 minutes, Miguel Danny crashed a header against the crossbar. Armenia's big chance came just after the hour, when defender Taron Voskanyan got up well to meet a corner, but his header was straight at the Portugal goalkeeper. The resistance of the visitors was finally broken on 71 minutes. Substitute Ricardo Quaresma cut into the right side of the penalty area, and his angled drive was beaten away by the goalkeeper. However, as Voskanyan hesitated when trying to clear, Nani was able to get a foot in and stab the ball out left to Ronaldo, who swept it past Roman Berezovsky at the far post. With five minutes left, Marcos Pizzelli failed to really test Patricio with an effort from just inside the penalty area. Portugal almost doubled their lead on 89 minutes when substitute Antonio Eder's header from a corner hit the base of the post. In stoppage time, Pizzelli made space for a shot from the left side of the area, but again fired the ball straight at Patricio.