BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Diogo Dalot helped Portugal take control of its Nations League group by scoring his first two international goals in a 4-0 rout at the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Spain blew its lead of Group A2 after flopping in a 2-1 loss to Switzerland in front of its disappointed fans in Zaragoza.
Portugal moved two points ahead of Spain before the neighbors meet in Braga on Tuesday in a winner-take-all clash to see which advances to the tournament’s final four next June.
While his Portugal rolled in Prague, Cristiano Ronaldo had a rough night, first enduring a nasty blow to his face that made his nose bleed and required a small bandage. International soccer’s all-time leading scorer with 117 goals also committed a penalty that, fortunately for him, the Czechs failed to convert with the score 2-0.
Dalot put Portugal ahead in the 33rd minute when the right back scored from a pass by Rafael Leão.
Bruno Fernandes doubled the lead in first-half injury time moments before Ronaldo was guilty of the handball inside his own area. But Patrik Schick wasted the penalty kick by sending it onto the crossbar.
Dalot put the result beyond all doubt in the 52nd with a curling shot into the corner.
Ronaldo finished with an assist for Diogo Jota to take a fourth goal in the 82nd.
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Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press