Ronaldo’s lob against Luxembourg last Friday had taken his overall goal-scoring tally to 699 as the Euro 2016 champions cruised to a 3-0 win.
The five times Ballon d’Or winner joins names such as Romario and Pele in the 700 club but despite scoring against Ukraine he was on the losing side as Portugal were made to pay for incoherent build-up and failing to break down the organised hosts for long stretches.
Ukrainian keeper Andriy Pyatov made nine saves in a wonderful performance. Yarmolenko capitalised on poor defending in the first-half to put the hosts 2-0 up after an early goal by Yarmechuck. Andriy Shevchenko’s side became the fifth to qualify for Euro 2020.
Ronaldo, the former Sporting, Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar, who is the sixth highest goal scorer in the history of the game, has now joined an elite club alongside the likes of Josef Bica, Romario, Pele, Ferenc Puskas and Gerd Muller who have all scored seven hundred career goals or more.
CR7 still has a long way to go to draw level with former Czech Republic forward Bican, who notched a staggering 800 goals between 1931 and 1950, while Romario and Pele of Brazil bagged 772 and 767 respectively. Ronaldo does have new bragging rights over rival Lionel Messi, who trails him on 672 career strikes.
Ukraine were unbeaten in five matches, scoring eleven goals and with a blank in the goals against column. It looked as if it might stay that way until Stepanenko blocked a shot from Bruma with his arm. The referee pointed to the spot and gave Stepanenko his second yellow with nearly twenty minutes still to play. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and blasted the spot-kick high into the back of the net and he was unlucky not to score again in stoppage time when his header was brilliantly saved by Pyatov. Danilo then struck the angle of post and bar but Ukraine completed their victory to qualify for Euro 2020. Portugal still need to secure points against Lithuania and Luxembourg to reach next year’s finals.