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Cristiano Ronaldo gets one step closer to the World Cup as Jota scores a ballhead in play-off win

DIOGO JOTA helped send Portugal to the play-off final – with the skin of his teeth.

The hosts looked like they were in control of the game Liverpool Striker scored his header in the 42nd minute after Otavio broke through the block.

Porto's Otavio scored the opening goal as Portugal reached the World Cup play-off final

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Porto’s Otavio scored the opening goal as Portugal reached the World Cup play-off finalCredit: GETTY
Diogo Jota scored a sensational header at the back post

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Diogo Jota scored a sensational header at the back postCredit: GETTY
The Liverpool native appeared as Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed an unusual evening off in his country's colors

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The Liverpool native appeared as Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed an unusual evening off in his country’s colorsCredit: GETTY
Matheus Nunes ended the game in stoppage time

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Matheus Nunes ended the game in stoppage timeCredit: REUTERS

But veteran Turkey Striker Burak Yilmaz went from hero to villain, scoring one back then and missing a crucial final penalty.

Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in the first two goals but was in a prank all night for missing a number of golden chances.

And to make matters worse Manchester United Iconic, it was Matheus Nunes who blushed his country with a valuable third goal in the game’s final kick.

Portugal were in the driver’s seat early and Bruno Fernandes whipped a peach of a free kick into the box but Jota drove the sitter from three yards.

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Otavio made up for the Liverpool man’s mistake with a sweet opener after 15 minutes.

It all started with Ronaldo’s attacking run down the right flank before hitting Jota who linked up with Bernardo Silva.

The Manchester City star found the far post with a rasping shot before the ball fell to Otavio, who swept the rebound home for his first competitive goal for Portugal.

Turkey finally woke up and Berkan Kutlu headed a warning shot into the side netting just fractions of the goal.

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Diogo Costa’s steady hands then did well to deflect a fierce low drive from Orkun Kokcu.

The hosts hit back hard and Manchester United midfielder Fernandes used another inch-perfect free-kick, but Ronaldo shot over his run and missed his header.

A razor-sharp action from Ronaldo and Otavia then saw Jota double the lead with a lightning header in the 42nd minute and his ninth international goal.

But Turkey were resilient after the restart and it was only a matter of time before they rained on Portugal’s parade.

It fell to Yilmaz to give the visitors a lifeline with his 31st goal for his country in the 65th minute, when he clipped a nice through ball from Cengiz Under and fired home.

Tempers flared late when Jose Fonte hacked Enes Unal down with a straight leg.

The penalty call was initially dismissed by referee Daniel Siebert, who checked the monitor on the sidelines and then pointed to the point.

Yilmaz stepped forward – but Fonte thanked his lucky stars as the normally ice-cold finisher shot over the bar.

Portugal dominated the game
Portugal dominated the game

But in the final seconds, Nunes put it out of reach for the visitors with a scorching finish after a through ball from Rafael Leao in the 94th minute.

Portugal meet underdogs North Macedonia in the play-off final after Euro 2020 winners Italy stunned in added time.

Aleksandar Trajkovski shot in the bottom left corner to set up a date with Portugal on March 29.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/18059658/portugal-2-turkey-1-world-cup-play-off-win/ Cristiano Ronaldo gets one step closer to the World Cup as Jota scores a ballhead in play-off win

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