Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill praised the second half efforts of his side, as they came from a goal ...Sun, Jun 11 2017
The Stade de Lyon played host to the game of Euro 2016 so far as Hungary and Portugal played out a six-goal thriller, a 3-3 draw which ensured both sides would progress to the last-16.
Both sides shared 29 chances between them, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a brace to break his Euro 2016 duck and become the first man to score in four separate European Championships. Ronaldo also became the first man to complete 17 European Championships matches and was largely responsible for dragging his country through to the next round here.
The result means Hungary are still yet to register a win over Portugal in 11 games, competitive or otherwise. That won't matter to them now, though, as they progressed to the last-16 as winners of Group F by virtue of goal-difference having finish level on points with Iceland, with whom they drew earlier in the tournament.
A Seleccao fell behind on three occasions in this match, but managed to battle back each time. However, they must have feared the worst when Hungary took a shock lead in the 19th minute through Zoltan Gera.
Portugal didn't clear a corner very well despite having two chances to do so and the ball reached Gera on the edge of the penalty area. The former West Brom and Fulham midfielder controlled it with his chest before firing an unstoppable half-volley into the net from 25 yards, leaving Rui Patricio grasping at thin air as the 'keeper tried in vain to reach for it.
That fine strike made Gera the second oldest man to ever score at a Euros at 37 years and 62 days. More pertinently, it left Portugal momentarily stunned as the magnitude of the strike and its consequences took hold. They soon got their tails up, with Ronaldo shooting at every possible opportunity. Except for when he created his side's equaliser.
Three minutes before the interval, Ronaldo threaded in Nani with a lovely pass which was powerfully finished by the Fenerbache winger – he drilled a left-footed shot into the top corner beyond a helpless Gabor Kiraly in the Hungary goal.
If Fernando Santos had a few choice words for his players at half-time, they didn't listen to them as Portugal found themselves behind for the second time in the game just two minutes after the restart.
Balazs Dzsudzsak, the Hungarian skipper, struck a free-kick which took a big deflection off of Andre Gomes in the Portuguese wall to wrong foot a helpless Patricio. 2-1 and Portuguese alarm bells were ringing once again. Enter Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid star finally ended his drought for this tournament and, more importantly, restored parity between the sides, in the 50th minute. Joao Mario swung a cross into the heart of the box where Ronaldo, pursued by a marker, sprinted to meet it with a cheeky backheel past the stunned Kiraly. Shades of Kanu versus Middlesbrough in 1999.
Yet just when you think Portugal will go on and show us what they're really about after two unconvincing games, they go ahead and fall behind for a third time in the 55th minute when Dzsudzsak scored his second of the game.
The Bursaspor man cut inside from the right flank onto his favoured left-foot and he blasted goalward, his shot deflecting off of Nani to leave Patricio stranded for the second time and Portgual behind once again. The alarm bells were back and they were louder than ever for the Portuguese – unless you're Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ricardo Quaresma had barely been on the pitch when he swung a delicious inswinging ball into the box for the Portuguese skipper to head home from close range. In the mood, Ronaldo grabbed the ball and ran back to the centre-circle, eager to go again.
He almost lived to regret that hasty decision as Hungary nearly equalised within 60 seconds. Akos Elek smashed the post with a first time shot from Gergo Lovrencsics' ball. Incredibly, further goals in this end-to-end game were not forthcoming. It mattered not to either side as both nations progressed.
Hungary: Gabor Kiraly; Adam Lang, Richard Guzmics, Roland Juhasz, Mihaly Korhut; Balazs Dzsudzsak, Zoltan Gera (Barnabas Bese, HT), Adam Pinter, Gergo Lovrencsics (Zoltan Stieber, 83); Akos Elek; Adam Szalai (Krisztian Nemeth, 71).
Subs not used: Denes Dibusz (GK), Peter Gulacsi (GK), Attila Fiola, Tamas Kadar, Daniel Bode, Nemanja Nikolic, Laszlo Kleinheisler, Adam Nagy, Tamas Priskin.
Bookings: R Guzmics (13), R Juhasz (28), Z Gera (34), B Dzsudsak (56).
Portugal: Rui Patricio; Vieirinha, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Eliseu; André Gomes (Ricardo Quaresma, 61), Joao Moutinho (Renato Sanches, HT), William Carvalho, Joao Mário; Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Nani (Danilo Pereira, 81).
Subs not used: Anthony Lopes (GK), Eduardo Carvalho (GK), Cédric Soares, Adrien Silva, José Fonte, Bruno Alves, Raphael Guerreiro, Eder, Rafa Silva.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG).
Extratime Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal).