World Cup technology denies Portugal’s Ronaldo record-tying score

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Cristiano Ronaldo (C) of Portugal celebrated a goal against Uruguay on Monday at the World Cup, but teammate Bruno Fernandes was given credit for the score. Photo by Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE

Nov. 29 (UPI) — Cristiano Ronaldo will have to wait a little longer to tie Eusebio as Portugal’s top scorer in World Cup history after Qatar 2022 technology determined he won’t get credit for a goal against Uruguay, Adidas said Tuesday.

Adidas manufactured the 2022 World Cup ball, which features an interior sensor that allows officials to track touches and player positioning throughout the tournament. That techonology determined he didn’t touch the ball for a score, which he celebrated as his own, in Portugal’s 2-0 win Monday at Lusail Stadium in Lusail.

“In the match between Portugal and Uruguay, using the Connected Ball Technology housed in Adidas’s Al Rihla Official Match Ball, we are able to definitively show no contact on the ball from Cristiano Ronaldo for the opening goal in the game,” Adidas said in a statement.

“No external force on the ball could be measured as shown by the lack of ‘heartbeat’ in our measurements. … The 500Hz IMU sensor inside the ball allows us to be highly accurate in our analysis.”

Portugal and Uruguay played to a scoreless first half in the Group H match. Fernandes received a pass from defender Raphael Guerreiro to spark the first scoring sequence in the 54th minute.

Fernandes cut his dribble from left the right and bent a cross toward the far post. Ronaldo came flying into the area and jumped for a header, but the ball sailed over his head and went into the right side of the goal.

Ronaldo appeared to ask an official if he received credit for the score. He then smiled and celebrated the goal. Fernandes’ face then appeared on the scoreboard and he was announced as the goal scorer. Ronaldo, who scored eight times in his previous World Cup appearances with Portugal, thought he tied Eusebio’s men’s record of nine scores, which prompted that celebration.

Fernandes later added another score with a penalty kick in stoppage time and was named man of the match. He told reporters at a postgame news conference that it didn’t “really matter” who scored the goal. He also said he thought Ronaldo touched the ball.

Portugal is 2-0 at the World Cup and has clinched its spot in the knockout stage Round of 16. Ronaldo and Portugal will face South Korea in their final Group H match at 10 a.m. EST Friday in Ar Rayyan.

Fans cheer on World Cup contenders in Qatar

Japan team fans wear costumes and face paint at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI | License Photo

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