Portugal and Hungary advance, after thrilling 3-3 draw
June 23, 2016 07:17 AM NPT
LYON, France, June 22: Hungary and Portugal advance to the Euro 2016 knockout stages after a 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.
While Portugal regularly reaches the knockout stages of big tournaments, this is Hungary's first since they made the last four of the European Championship in 1972 and the first time they have got through a group stage since the 1966 World Cup.
With the score ensuring both teams would progress, both then seemed happy to keep it at 3-3, although Iceland's winner did not delight the Portugal manager.
"Croatia are one of the sharks and we've been trying to avoid them," said Santos. "But now they are standing in our way and we have to hunt them down."