It just began to seem like Portugal would draw a blank against Hungary in what is potentially the easiest game of their group, when their inevitable talisman Cristiano Ronaldo scored a double to take his country to an eventually comfortable 3-0 win.
In doing so, Ronaldo became the highest scorer ever in the history of the Euros competition with eleven goals. He was level with Michel Platini (on nine goals) before today’s match.
Ronaldo scores brace
Portugal huffed and puffed at Hungary’s doorstep for the first eighty-three minutes. In fact, it was Hungary who came closest to scoring as striker Szabolcs Schon scored from an offside position. That seemed to wake Portugal up, and they ramped up the pressure on Hungary’s defense.
While it seemed like it would just be one of those days when Portugal were repeatedly frustrated by some stolid defending, suddenly Portugal seemed to come to life
The breakthrough came when Bruno Fernandes found Raphael Guerreiro inside the box with a deflected pass, whose shot deflected off Hungarian centre-back Willi Orban and a helpless Gulacsi could only watch as the ball bounced over the line.
Ronaldo then made up for his first-half miss with a coolly taken pen, sending the keeper the wrong way. He score again just five minutes later, taking the ball past the goalkeeper and slotting home in typically clinical move.
Michel Platini‘s record of nine goals in the European Championships stood for thirty-two years before Ronaldo equaled it back in 2016. He had to wait another five years for a chance to break it and take the record for himself, and he did it at the first time of asking.
He did so in a fashion that we’ve come to expect of him over the years, a calmly taken penalty and then a poacher’s finish with ice in his veins.
Ronaldo’s Portugal faces Germany next, but their place in the round of 16 is already as good as confirmed.