Cristiano Ronaldo equalised twice in a record-breaking performance as Portugal fought back three times to finish third behind Group F winners Hungary.
Portugal will join Group F winners Hungary in the round of 16 after Cristiano Ronaldo averted disaster with a historic double to earn his side third place in a pulsating 3-3 draw.
Hungary win Group F, with Portugal finishing third following a last-gasp winner for second-placed Iceland against Austria in the other tie in this section.(Picture Courtesy: UEFA)
Making a record 17th UEFA EURO finals appearance, the Real Madrid forward had cut a frustrated figure in his first two outings, and his mood was hardly improved by the first goalscoring instalment of a frenetic match. Zoltán Gera delivered it, fizzing a low half-volley beyond Rui Patrício after collecting a half-cleared corner on his chest.
It was an excellent strike for a team already through, but Nani levelled close to half-time thanks to Ronaldo’s exquisite, effortless through ball. With both defences looking vulnerable, an already thrilling game then became a spectacularly open one after the break, Balázs Dzsudzsák putting Hungary back in front from a deflected free-kick.
Ronaldo is up to 60 international goals and It is also Ronaldo’s 15th headed goal for his country, 25% of his goals.(Picture Courtesy: UEFA)
Portugal were heading home again, until Ronaldo became the first player to score in four separate editions of this tournament – and with trademark panache, meeting João Mário’s cross with a back-heeled flick. Still Hungary were not done, though, and it was Dzsudzsák who put them in front from another deflected effort.
The last word nevertheless belonged to Ronaldo, who rescued the Portuguese for a second time by heading in. That made it five goals in 21 minutes, and, once the dust had settled, Portugal were facing a meeting with either Croatia or Germany; Hungary will face the Group E runners-up on 25 June. Both sides will need to catch their breath first.
Man of the match: Cristiano Ronaldo
Did anyone actually believe that Ronaldo would leave UEFA EURO 2016 without finding the net? His travails in Portugal’s opening two games merely redoubled his motivation to sparkle here, and he finally left his stamp on the tournament with a fine, crucial double. His two historic markers in this match will matter little for now, though – more importantly, Portugal are still alive in this tournament and their talisman has arrived.
Report courtesy to UEFA Euro Release