Ronaldo's World Cup hopes take blow in shock loss

Published on: 14 November 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo's hopes for the 2022 World Cup took a big blow as Serbia clinched an automatic berth to the tournament in a comeback 2-1 win over Portugal in their Group A qualifier on Sunday.

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A 90th-minute header by halftime substitute Aleksandar Mitrovi lifted Serbia into the group's top spot on 20 points, three more than second-placed Portugal, who only needed a draw to finish top on goal difference and qualify.

Instead, Ronaldo and Co. will now head into the March playoffs to determine their fate for Qatar 2022.

Mitrovic beat home goalkeeper Rui Patricio with a downward header at the far post to spark wild celebrations on Serbia's bench after visiting captain Dusan Tadic had cancelled out an early Renato Sanches opener for Portugal.