Ronaldo faces ban after studs hit Dubravka's face – but he avoided red

Cristiano Ronaldo escapes red card despite studs hitting Martin Dubravka’s face in Portugal’s 1-0 win over Slovakia – but still faces ban due to accumulating three yellow cards

  • Ronaldo avoided a straight red card though his studs hit Martin Dubravka’s face
  • However, he faces a one-match ban as this is his third yellow card in qualifying 
  • Bruno Fernandes’ goal was enough to maintain Roberto Martinez’s perfect start 

Cristiano Ronaldo was fortunate to not be red carded despite his studs catching Martin Dubravka’s in Portugal’s 1-0 Euro 2024 qualifiying win against Slovakia. 

The Al-Nassr star slid for the ball in the box in the second-half incident, but the goalkeeper got there first and Ronaldo’s boot hit him in the face.

His booking means he will miss his nation’s next match against Luxembourg on Monday – the same penalty as he would have been awarded with a straight red – due to accumulating three red cards in Group J. 

He apologised to Dubravka but many were left wondering why Ronaldo wasn’t sent off even, after a VAR check. Despite the pain, Slovakia’s ‘keeper was able to see out the game. 

Portugal held on to secure an away win thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ delicious first-half strike from an acute angle – on his 29th birthday, no less. 

The victory leaves Portugal soaring at the top of Group J with five wins from five, having scored 15 and not conceded a goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s boot connected with Martin Dubravka’s face in Portugal’s 1-0 win over Slovakia

Ronaldo apologised to Dubravka after the incident and was booked, meaning he was miss the next game due to accumulating three yellow cards

Bruno Fernandes struck in the first half to grab the winning goal – and gift himself a birthday present to mark the occasion

It is a wondrous start to life in charge for Roberto Martinez, who left Belgium after they failed to break out of the group stages at the Qatar World Cup last December. 

This was the first defeat anybody had inflicted on Slovakia so far in qualifying for Euro 2024, as they sit second with 10 points. 

Ronaldo already has five goals in qualifying, which places him joint-fourth best alongside Harry Kane and Zeki Amdouni.

The 38-year-old might not be happy to see Rasmus Hojlund, Romelu Lukaku and former Manchester United team-mate Scott McTominay leading the scoring charts on six.

Due to his build-up of yellow cards, he will not be able to add to his tally against Luxembourg.

Luxembourg are an increasingly strong footballing nation, and are level on points with Slovakia, but Martinez’s side beat them 6-0 lats time out and their talisman bagged a brace. 

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