Sep 6, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Windsor Park
Northern Ireland
2-4
Portugal
McAuley (36'), Ward (52')
Davis (32'), Carroll (61'), Norwood (82')
Brunt (60'), Lafferty (80')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Alves (20'), Ronaldo (68', 77', 83')
Coentrão (0'), Pepe (7'), Ronaldo (43')
Postiga (43')

Result: Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick downs nine-man Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland are punished for their poor discipline as a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal come from behind to earn a 4-2 win at Windsor Park.

Northern Ireland were punished for their poor discipline as a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal came from behind to earn a 4-2 win at Windsor Park on Friday evening.

The hosts ended the night with just nine men, after having Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty sent off during a dramatic second half.

With 30 minutes left to play, the hosts led 2-1 and had a one-man advantage, following Helder Postiga's first-half dismissal.

However, Brunt then picked up his second yellow card for a rash tackle on Joao Pereira - a moment that swung the momentum in Portugal's favour.

Within 17 minutes of Brunt's sending-off, Ronaldo scored twice to restore his side's lead, which had earlier been given to them by defender Bruno Alves.

Ronaldo then completed his hat-trick with a trademark free kick, after Lafferty had seen red for a late lunge on Pereira.

Alves put the Group F favourites in front midway through the first half, guiding a neat volley into the corner of Roy Carroll's net after Oliver Norwood's header had failed to properly clear Joao Moutinho's outswinging set piece.

Gareth McAuley then equalised with a firm header from Shane Ferguson's corner on 36 minutes.

McAuley was on the receiving end of a tame headbutt that saw Postiga shown a straight red card moments later.

Buoyed by their numerical advantage, Michael O'Neill's men went ahead just after half time when Jamie Ward scored his first senior international goal.

However, Brunt and Lafferty's dismissals then provided the Group F favourites with space, which was exploited to great effect by Ronaldo.

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Martin Paterson of Northern Ireland celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Group F Qualifier match between Northern Ireland and Russia at Windsor Park on August 14, 2013
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