FARO, Portugal (AP)Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Portugal cruised to a 6-0 win over Lithuania to move closer to a 2020 European Championship spot on Thursday.
Pizzi Fernandes, Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva also scored for the defending European champions, who can qualify with a win in its final Group B match on Sunday at Luxembourg.
The rout against last-place Lithuania gave Portugal 14 points, five fewer than group leader Ukraine – which has already qualified – and one point more than third-place Serbia, which beat Luxembourg 3-2.
Ronaldo reached 98 career goals with Portugal after converting a penalty kick in the seventh minute, hitting the top corner with a curling shot from outside the area in the 22nd, and finding the net from close range in the 65th.
It was the ninth hat trick with Portugal for Ronaldo, and the 55th of his career for club and nation.
He has 10 goals in seven qualifying matches.
Ronaldo missed a golden chance for his fourth goal when his shot from near the penalty spot sailed over the crossbar in the 68th. He also could have added another in the first half had the referee not reversed a penalty decision in Portugal’s favor after conferring with his assistants.
Pizzi scored in the 52nd, Paciencia added to the lead in the 56th and Silva got on the board in the 63rd.
Ronaldo was substituted in the 83rd.
Portugal had won 5-1 at Lithuania in September.
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