Portugal and Hungary through after 3-3 thriller

Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:58pm EDT
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By Zoran Milosavljevic

LYON, France (Reuters) - Hungary and Portugal reached the Euro 2016 knockout stages after a rip-roaring 3-3 draw in which Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice and became the first player to score in four European Championships on Wednesday.

Portugal came from behind three times as Ronaldo, who also set a tournament record of 17 appearances, finally rediscovered his touch to help them secure a third straight draw that left them third in Group F and set up a last-16 meeting with Croatia.

Hungary, appearing in a major tournament for the first time in 30 years, topped the group with seven points thanks in large part to their captain Balazs Dzsudzsak, who scored two deflected goals.

Iceland also qualified in second after a last-gasp goal in their 2-1 win over Austria dramatically changed the outcome of the group. Until then, Portugal had been heading for a last-16 tie against England.

Hungary will now play the Group E runners-up, which will be decided later on Wednesday between Belgium, Sweden and Ireland, while Iceland will face England.

After Zoltan Gera's early strike was cancelled out by Nani just before the break, Dzsudzsak had twice put his side ahead soon after the break only for Ronaldo to respond each time with touches of his true mastery.

"The most important thing was to make it through to the next stage but we wanted to do it as the group winners," said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

"That's why we pressed on for a fourth goal although we knew we were taking risks. Three times we were out of the tournament and three times we came back; it shows character akin to only a few teams."   Continued...

Football Soccer - Hungary v Portugal - EURO 2016 - Group F - Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France - 22/6/16
Hungary's Balazs Dzsudzsak celebrates after scoring their second goal 
REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach