Soccer-Portugal make light of Ronaldo's absence to thump Croatia

PORTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Titleholders and European champions Portugal made light of Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence when they swept aside Croatia with a 4-1 win in their opening Nations League match on Saturday.

Portugal, in impressive form as they returned to action after a 10-month coronavirus interruption, hit the woodwork three times before Joao Cancelo fired them ahead four minutes before halftime in the League A Group Three match.

Diogo Jota and Joao Felix added two more in the second half before Bruno Petkovic pulled one back in stoppage time and Andre Silva added a fourth with the last kick of the game.

Ronaldo, who is on 99 international goals, was ruled out with a toe infection while Croatia were missing key midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic after the federation agreed not to pick them before the start of the European club season. (Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)