Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after an attempt on goal against Ireland during their friendly soccer match in East Rutherford, 10 JuneReuters

Cristiano Ronaldo's return boosted Portugal as they registered a crushing 5-1 victory against the Republic of Ireland in their final pre-World Cup friendly on Tuesday.

Having missed Portugal's previous two friendly games against Greece (0-0) and Mexico (0-1) due to a thigh and knee injury, the 29-year-old forward finally returned to fitness, much to the relief of head coach Paulo Bento.

Only 51 seconds into the game, the Real Madrid forward showed exactly what he is capable of by unleashing a powerful effort from outside the box. However, his effort was easily saved by Irish goalkeeper David Forde.

Three minutes later, Bento's men broke the deadlock through striker Hugo Almeida. Porto midfielder Silvestre Varela sent in a cross from the right and a completely unmarked Almeida found the net with the simplest of headers.

Ronaldo nearly doubled Portugal's lead in the 19th minute when he swirled a freekick from 20 yards. However, he was denied by the post.

Moments later, though, Portugal doubled their lead as a cross from left-back Fabio Coentrao found the net after taking a big deflection off the boot of Irish defender Richard Keogh.

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Portugal tripled their lead through Almeida. This time Ronaldo was directly involved as he forced an awkward save from Forde with a close-range header. The rebound fell to Almeida and the striker made no mistakes as he slotted the ball into an empty net.

Ireland finally managed to score a consolation goal seven minutes into the second half through James McClean.

A quick freekick caught Portugal off guard and the ball came to McClean, who did brilliantly as he raced past the defence and smashed the ball past Rui Patricio.

Finally Portugal added the icing on the cake as they scored two more goals in the closing stages of the game. Nani, who came in as a substitute, was in the thick of the action as he played a hand in both goals. First he set up midfielder Vieirinha in the 78th minute, before feeding the ball to Coentrao for Portugal's fifth goal of the game.

Although Ronaldo was taken off in the 65th minute, he did not appear to be suffering from any fitness problems. He was substituted for Real Madrid teammate Pepe, who also made a comeback from a calf injury.

Portugal, who have been placed in Group G alongside Germany, USA and Ghana, will play the Germans in their opening World Cup fixture on 16 June.

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