Ronaldo rescues Portugal’s Euro campaign

Thursday, 2016-06-23 11:34:45
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Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice in Portugal's 3-3 draw against Hungary early on June 23. (Photo: UEFA)
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NDO – Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to help Portugal tie 3-3 with Hungary in the last Group F matchup early on June 23 and make it through to the last 16 of the Euro 2016 as one of the four best third-placed teams. 

Portuguese players entered the match with strong determination targeting at least a draw, which was a must to secure them a possible place in the knockout stage.

However, their hopes were dealt a big blow after 19 minutes as Gera drove a powerful strike from outside the box to put Hungary in front.

It was not until three minutes before halftime that Nani fired home Ronaldo’s smart cross to relieve the pressure from the Santos side.

Two minutes after the break, Portugal lagged behind for the second time, with Hungarian captain Dzsudzsak producing an unstoppable free-kick to make it 2-1.

After two games of silence, Ronaldo lived up to expectation this time with a second equaliser for Portugal three minutes later.

Dzsudzsak completed his double to restore Hungary’s advantage at the 54th minute mark, only to see his Portuguese counterpart Ronaldo level the score again on 63 minutes to secure the Santos side a precious point.

The dramatic draw fired Hungary to the last 16 as Group F leaders with five points, while it was also enough to put Portugal through as one of the four best third-place finishers with three points.

In the remaining Group F matchup, Iceland edged out Austria 2-1 to advance as the runners-up with five points.

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