Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Ronaldo back with a bang

Published:Thursday | September 14, 2017 | 9:15 AM
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after scoring past APOEL goalkeeper Boy Waterman during a Champions League Group H match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain yesterday.

MADRID, Spain (AP):

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice on his return as Real Madrid began their quest for a third straight Champions League title by beating Cypriot club APOEL 3-0 yesterday.

Ronaldo scored in each half in his first match since being suspended for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final last month.

He's still suspended for one more match of his five-game suspension, but was cleared to play in European competition.

Sergio Ramos scored the third goal at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where Madrid have not lost a group-stage game in almost eight years.

The Spanish powerhouse has won 12 of their last 13 Champions League games at the Bernabeu.

Tottenham defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the other Group H match.

It didn't take long for Ronaldo to make a difference. In the 12th minute, he scored with an angled shot from near the far post after a low cross by Gareth Bale. His second in the 51st was a penalty kick after a handball was called inside the area.

Ronaldo has the most successful penalty-kick goals in Champions League history, with 12, one more than Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo also struck the crossbar, and had two goals disallowed for offside.

Madrid's third goal came in the 61st when Ramos flicked the ball into the net while with his back to the goal and with a defender closely marking him.

APOEL were eliminated by Madrid when they made a surprising run to the quarter finals in 2012.

The Cyprus team has not won any of their 12 away matches in the Champions League, losing the last six in row.