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Cristiano Ronald hand in a goal Portugal to big win

Cristiano Ronald hand in a goal Portugal to big win

Cristiano Ronald hand in a goal Portugal to big win
Cristiano Ronald hand in a goal Portugal to big win

EAST RUTHERFORD: Cristiano Ronaldo had a hand in a goal and hit a post on his return as Portugal concluded their World Cup preparations with a 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

The Real Madrid striker, who missed his country’s previous two warm-up games because of thigh and knee injuries, was not at his brilliant best for long periods of a one-sided friendly in the United States.

But coach Paulo Bento will just be relieved to see his captain and talisman back after an injury layoff that had sparked fears that Ronaldo might not be fit for Brazil.

Ronaldo was substituted on 65 minutes, but it appeared to have been a planned change and there was no indication that he was suffering any ill effects from his injury problems.

He was replaced by Real teammate Pepe, a key defender and another whose World Cup preparations have been badly hindered by injury.

Portugal, who were to fly to Brazil immediately after the match, start their World Cup assault against Germany on June 16 in Group G — the so-called “Group of Death” — which also includes the USA and Ghana.

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