Ronaldo eclipses Salah show

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating after scoring his second goal. The five-time World Player of the Year has scored one goal more than Salah this season - from five games fewer for Real Madrid.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating after scoring his second goal. The five-time World Player of the Year has scored one goal more than Salah this season - from five games fewer for Real Madrid.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Egypt's Mohamed Salah applauding during the 2-1 friendly defeat by Portugal on Friday. The Liverpool forward is having an impressive debut season for his club, scoring 36 goals in all competitions.
Egypt's Mohamed Salah applauding during the 2-1 friendly defeat by Portugal on Friday. The Liverpool forward is having an impressive debut season for his club, scoring 36 goals in all competitions.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Portuguese's late brace cancels out Egyptian's goal as Europe's top 2 scorers clash in friendly

ZURICH • Cristiano Ronaldo won the duel between Europe's top hitmen as Portugal defeated Mohamed Salah's Egypt 2-1 in a World Cup warm-up match in Zurich.

Salah scored with a thumping drive to put Egypt ahead early in the second half on Friday.

But Ronaldo refused to be upstaged and he sneaked in behind his marker to head in Ricardo Quaresma's cross from the left in the 92nd minute.

Not content with that, the Portugal captain scored again in stoppage time with another header.

Once more he finished off a pass from Quaresma, this time from the right, in the final move of the game.

There was initial confusion as the referee consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) system for a possible offside before allowing the goal.

"We were better overall," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

"We were not so good collectively in the second half but our individual creativity helped us win the game.

"In the last minutes we were better, created four chances and showed great determination to turn it around. They showed that they did not want to lose.

"And with Ronaldo, it's about a goal and another goal."

The European champions had enjoyed the better of a match played in a lively atmosphere but their African opponents showed enough to worry World Cup group rivals Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.

Egypt broke the deadlock in the 56th minute after a flowing attack ended with Abdallah El Said playing the ball back to Salah, who swept it in from the edge of the area with an effortless first-time shot.

Salah leads the English Premier League's Golden Boot race with 28 goals and has 36 goals in all competitions from 40 Liverpool appearances.

Only one player in Europe's top five leagues netted more times in all competitions this season - Real Madrid's Ronaldo, with 37 goals from just 35 games.

And Portugal's record scorer (81 goals) was not about to be overshadowed by Salah, capping his 900th career match by moving into third place on the all-time list of international scorers.

Legendary Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas scored 84 goals while Iran's Ali Daei leads the list with 109 goals in 149 internationals.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper was disappointed with the result but happy with the performance.

"As far as measuring ourselves against a top team like Portugal, I'm happy with what we did, and this was a good game for us in that sense," he said.

"It's just a shame they scored in the 92nd and 94th minutes."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 25, 2018, with the headline 'Ronaldo eclipses Salah show'. Print Edition | Subscribe