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Bazunu Saves Ronaldo Penalty

Pompey keeper shines in World Cup qualifier

1 September 2021

Gavin Bazunu

It was supposed to be the moment when Cristiano Ronaldo made international football history.

But the global superstar – who has just completed a move back to Manchester United from Juventus – was stopped in his tracks by Pompey stopper Gavin Bazunu.

Portugal were awarded a controversial penalty in their World Cup qualifier with Republic of Ireland in Faro following Jeff Hendrick’s challenge on Bruno Fernandes.

Ronaldo stepped up to take it, looking to score a 110th goal for his country and take him past Iran’s Ali Daei.

Instead, however, Bazunu dived to his right to impressively keep out the spot-kick from the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Former Ireland international Richard Dunne told Sky Sports: “It was a fantastic save and he showed great agility to get across to it. It was an unbelievable save for a goalkeeper of his age.”

John Egan then gave Ireland the lead and a shock victory looked on the cards for Stephen Kenny’s side.

Bazunu also made a fine save from a Ronaldo free-kick, although the Portuguese superstar showed his quality with two late goals to turn the contest on its head and break another record.

Ronan Curtis was not named in the matchday squad for Ireland, who have matches against Azerbaijan and Serbia in the next few days.

Elsewhere, Joe Morrell was an ununsed substitute for Wales in their 0-0 friendly draw in Finland.

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