This was the fifth for his country dating back to September 2013 when he put three past Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast also in a World Cup qualifier.
Three days later and the national side travelled to Budapest for the crucial game against Hungary where Portugal overcame fiercely stubborn resistance from the ten-man Magyars and returned home with three crucial points.
Fernando Santos made several changes with Danilo replacing William while Fabio Coentrão earned his first cap for nearly two years in place of Eliseu. Bernardo Silva made way for Gelson Martins and to address the Hungarian’s threat from set pieces Bruno Alves made the starting eleven in place of Fonte.
Both sides struggled initially although Ronaldo should have scored in the eighth minute when his glancing header flashed wide of the right post.
Midway through the half both sides were dealt a blow, firstly Coentrão sustained a left thigh injury and had to be withdrawn for Eliseu.
Moments later Hungary were down to ten men when Tamas Priskin was shown a straight red card for a deliberate elbow on Pepe, leaving the Besiktas defender in a heap with blood trickling from his brow.
Hungary’s aggressive and physical approach continued to break the flow of the game as Cédric required medical attention to address a cut on his cheek following an encounter with Dzsudzsak.
Just prior to the interval André Silva should have broken the deadlock.
The AC Milan striker found space on the left side of the penalty area, but his shot was straight at Gulacsi.
Three minutes after the break, Portugal forced their way through the tight knit Hungary defence when Ronaldo got free on the left.
Portugal’s talisman crossed into the box for André Silva to bundle the ball over the line for the all- important first goal. With less than ten minutes remaining, Cédric’s cross was deflected into the path of Ronaldo but his goal bound effort was superbly blocked by Fiola.
The home side very nearly snatched a dramatic equaliser deep in stoppage time but the Portugal defence remained solid to remain three points behind group leaders Switzerland.
Portugal will travel to Andorra for their penultimate match of World Cup qualification on 7 October.