The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Ronaldo makes history as Real Madrid beats Copenhagen 2-0 in Champions League Group B
COPENHAGEN - Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score nine goals in the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday as he helped the Spanish giants to a 2-0 victory at Copenhagen.
Madrid, which already secured top spot in Group B, took the lead when Croatia playmaker Luka Modric curled the ball into the top-right corner in the 25th minute.
Ronaldo, who seemed absent during the first 45 minutes, scored three minutes into the second half — pouncing on a ball headed on by Pepe. He should have added his 10th goal of the campaign — but missed a 90th penalty.
"I've broken a Champions League record and I feel very happy about it," Ronaldo said. "The team's in good shape, feeling confident while playing attractive football."
Though Madrid had more possession, Copenhagen caused its opponents problems on the counter-attack.
The visitors tested goalkeeper Johan Wiland, whose saves include diverting a low shot by Ronaldo with his fingertips. Toward the end of the first half, a header by Copenhagen's Thomas Delaney finished in the Madrid net but the goal was disallowed by German referee Felix Brych due to a collision with keeper Iker Casillas.
Copenhagen's Rurik Gislason tried his luck with a shot in the early stages of the second half but the ball ended in the side-netting. Later, Casillas punched away another shot by the Icelandic midfielder.
However, Madrid was in complete control of the game, led by Ronaldo and backed by a solid defence. The home team, backed by a crowd of 37,000, tried in vain to force itself back into the match.
Ronaldo hit the post in the 75th minute, while teammate Gareth Bale missed another opportunity for Madrid's third goal in the 82nd minute as he surged into the box.
Seconds before the final whistle, Wiland punched away Ronaldo's powerfully-struck penalty kick.
While Madrid will play in the last 16, the Danish club finished bottom of the group and exits European competition for the season.
"It was a serious game that wasn't at all easy," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "My players did well, and showed good attitude and solid play."
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