23 June 2016
Thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace in Portugal’s last Group D match against Hungary on Wednesday, the Portuguese national team narrowly avoided England for their last 16 knockout fixture and got Croatia instead in the ongoing Euro 2016 championship.
The Portuguese were unimpressive throughout the clash with Hungary as they struggled to create clear cut chances and went a goal down midway through the first half thanks to a sublime Zoltan Gera half volley from the edge of the box.
Few minutes to the half time whistle, Portugal equalised when Ronaldo’s clinical pass put Nani through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat and the former Man Utd winger hit the back of the net with a shot through the near post.
The match which ended 3 – 3 is so far the highest scoring game in the ongoing Euro 2016 championship.
With Ronaldo’s brace, his first in the competition, he became the first player ever to score in four European Championship finals.
Though many would say luck smiled on the unfancied Hungarian side on the day as they scored two deflected shots – Balazs Dzsudzsak’s brace were both deflected shots that Portuguese goalkeeper, Rui Patricio had no chance at keeping out – one has to commend their all round quality display.
Euro 2016 Round of 16 Fixtures:
Saturday, 25 June
Switzerland v Poland – 15:00 (Saint Etienne)
Wales v Poland – 18:00 (Paris)
Croatia v Portugal – 21:00 (Lens)
Sunday, 26 June
France v Rep of Ireland – 15:00 (Lyon)
Germany v Slovakia – 18:00 (Lille)
Hungary v Belgium – 21:00 (Toulouse)
Monday, 27 June
Italy v Spain – 18:00 (Saint-Denis)
England v Iceland – 21:00 (Nice)