Three Manchester United stars started for Portugal as they could only muster a lacklustre 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland in the latest round of World Cup Qualifiers.
Diogo Dalot and Cristiano Ronaldo both played the full 90 minutes while Bruno Fernandes was substituted after 75 minutes.
A point means Portugal now only need to avoid defeat in their final group A fixture against second-placed Serbia to clutch qualification for next year’s tournament.
It was only the second time in their seven qualifiers that Ronaldo and his teammates had failed to win, against an Ireland side who’ve only managed one win in what has proved to be a disastrous campaign.
On the night Ronaldo had a couple of chances but was largely foiled by some brave defending from the home side.
However, the best chance of the game did fall to him 67 minutes in, but his glancing header went just wide.
At the other end, the hot-headed Pepe was shown the second red card of his international career after pushing Callum Robinson in the face.
Ireland had a goal disallowed as Will Keane was adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper in the build-up as Matt Doherty put the ball in the back of the net.
Perhaps the highlight of the night was post-match when a young pitch invader charged onto the pitch and made her way towards Ronaldo.
The Portuguese legend hugged the young fan and gave her his shirt, creating the loudest cheer of the evening.
Cristiano Ronaldo gives his shirt to a young emotional fan who invades the pitch at full-time 👏 💚 pic.twitter.com/mvLorZttPP
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 11, 2021
Even on a night when the football didn’t go exactly according to plan for him, Ronaldo still ended the game as the hero of the tie.