The Havakakan’s naturalized Brazilian Marcos Pizzelli scored for the home team in the 14th minute with a spectacular long-range shot from a set piece, but Ronaldo equalized from the 11-meter spot in the 29th minute after a Henrikh Mkhitaryan foul in the penalty area.
The Real Madrid man twice punished the Armenian defense at the start of the second half before Portugal were reduced to 10 men following a second yellow card picked by Tiago Mendes.
Cheered by nearly 15,000 fans at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Armenia charged ahead and Hrayr Mkoyan managed to score with a right footed shot from very close range in the 71st minute. But the home team failed to find the equalizer in the remaining time, with the scoreboard showing the final result at 2-3 to the visitors.
Armenia played their first official match under new caretaker coach Sargis Hovsepyan. The 42-year-old specialist – who ended a long and successful career as Armenia defender and captain in 2012, having earned 132 caps for his nation – succeeded Swiss Bernard Challendes who resigned in April following the team’s unsuccessful start in the qualifying campaign.
The latest result leaves Armenia with just one point at the bottom of the five-nation qualifying group that also includes Denmark, Albania and Serbia.
Armenia will next travel to Belgrade for a qualifier against Serbia on September 4.