Portugal are down but not out, after suffering a devastating World Cup setback.
A 2-1 home loss to Serbia saw them finish second in their group and now they must work their way through the play-offs.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to add to his tally of 115 international goals in matches against Ireland and Serbia, making it an entirely unproductive break for him.
He was visibly upset after the defeat after Serbia scored an injury-time winner. A draw would have been enough for Portugal.
Ronaldo is putting a brave face on it this morning, and is rallying his country to bounce back.
Portugal must now win a play-off semi-final and final in order to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
This is not the situation Ronaldo or teammates Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot had envisioned heading into the weekend.
The play-off draw will take place at the end of this month, with the games to be played in March.
Portugal lost just one game out of eight matches in their qualification group.
They were just outdone by an impressive Serbia side which went unbeaten throughout.
Ronaldo was unhappy about the defeat as he had a late winner against Serbia disallowed back in March.
For a player who said he was so happy to be back with Portugal, amid a stretch of Manchester United misery, it seems there is no escape for Ronaldo right now.
Fortunately he will get another chance next year to put Portugal’s setback right.
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