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McAuley on target for NI - UPDATE

RISING ABOVE IT...McAuley gets ahead of Ronaldo to head home against Portugal

PUBLISHED

22:22 6th September 2013

See how Albion's international's fared in WCQ action

GARETH McAuley scored his third goal for Northern Ireland in an action-packed World Cup qualifier against Portugal at Windsor Park.

The Albion defender, who earlier saw Helder Postiga sent-off after the striker head-butted him, equalised Bruno Alves’ opener before Jamie Ward put the hosts ahead at half-time.

But fellow Baggie Chris Brunt was also red carded just past the hour-mark for a second bookable offence.

And Cristiano Ronaldo went on to fire a 15-minute hat-trick to win the game 4-2 for the visitors in the Group F encounter, with Kyle Lafferty dismissed ten minutes from time for Michael O’Neill’s men.

Jonas Olsson came on in stoppage time and took the bragging rights as his Sweden team beat Shane Long’s Republic of Ireland 2-1 in Dublin in their crucial Group C clash.

Long got 90 minutes under his belt as Giovanni Trapattoni’s men fell three points behind the second-placed Swedes, with three games remaining.

Boaz Myhill played the entire game for Wales as they slipped to bottom-but-one in Group A.

Diego Lugano captained Uruguay for 90 minutes as they beat Peru 2-1 in Lima. They are now just two points off Ecuador in the final South America World Cup qualification spot.

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