CRISTIANO RONALDO scored a late brace to break the international goalscoring record and deliver a stunning comeback for Portugal.
Republic of Ireland were on the verge of holding out for a shock win against the Selecao in the Algarve on Wednesday night.
Ireland had already survived a Ronaldo penalty as the 36-year-old chased down the record of Iran icon Ali Daei.
John Egan then sent the visitors into the break a goal up with a smart header from Jamie McGrath's corner.
Portugal hammered at their opponent's door, which was being well marshalled by young goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
The Manchester City teenager, on loan at Portsmouth, parried Ronaldo's penalty before efforts from Bernardo Silva and Joao Mario failed to break Ireland's resolve.
Fortunately for Portugal, they had an ace up their sleeve in Manchester United newboy Ronaldo.
An 89th-minute Goncalo Guedes cross was headed home by the veteran to break Daei's record.
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And that was not enough for the insatiable striker, who popped up with virtually last kick of the game to grab the winner.
Mario provided the ball in and once again Ronaldo guided his header into the net.
The superstar whipped off his shirt in trademark fashion as Estadio Algarve wildly celebrated Portugal's favourite son, who took home both match balls he scored with as an extra trophy.
Ronaldo's missed penalty suggested he would have to attempt to break Daei's record in next week's matches against Qatar and Azerbaijan.
He declared after the final whistle: "I'm happy not only because I got the record but for the special moments that we had with two goals at the end."
"I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end. For the supporters, I'm so happy."
It certainly did not appear to be his night when he lashed out at Dara O'Shea in the long wait for VAR to green-light the spot-kick.
On the penalty miss, Ronaldo added: "It's part of the game. Sometimes we score, sometimes you [make a] mistake. It's part of the business.
"But I still believed until the end of the game so I am so glad to score and win the game."
Portugal peppered the Irish goal with 29 shots in total, of which Ronaldo fired in eight.
And the comeback means the Selecao are well on their way to the World Cup with ten points from four games, leaving Ireland stuck on zero.
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