The Juventus forward has now scored ninety-three international goals, just sixteen behind Iran legend Ali Daei’s world record.
The 4-2 victory in Serbia came thanks to goals from William Carvalho (Real Betis), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva (Manchester City). Three days later and Portugal played Lithuania in the first-ever competitive meeting between the two sides. Ronaldo slotted home an early penalty before Vytautas Andriuskevicius equalised for the home side and that’s the way it remained until fifteen minutes after the interval when the Lithuanian keeper Ernestas Setkus gifted Portugal a goal as he completely mishandled a scuffed Ronaldo effort. Four minutes later Ronaldo finished the job with a close range as he beat the offside trap and got on the end of a Bernardo Silva cross.
It was 34-year-old Ronaldo’s eighth international hat-trick. João Félix nearly added to Portugal’s lead minutes later as the nature of the match shifted and became about damage control for the hosts and a higher goal difference for Portugal. It was that man Ronaldo who scored yet again fifteen minutes from time demonstrating a far better finishing touch when he swept Bernardo Silva’s pass into the bottom right corner from the left side of the penalty area. With ten minutes remaining four goal hero Cristiano Ronaldo - he also scored four against Andorra three years ago - made way for Gonçalo Guedes but there was still time for William Carvalho to add a fifth goal in stoppage time.
The result keeps Portugal in an automatic qualifying place, five points behind Group B leaders Ukraine. Serbia moved up into third place in the group with a 3-1 win in Luxembourg.
Portugal will next host Luxembourg on 11 October in Lisbon before travelling to Kiev three days later to meet first-placed Ukraine. Portugal play their last home group game, against Lithuania, on 14 November at the Algarve Stadium, Faro.