The 61,000-strong crowd at the Puskas Arena buoyed up the Hungary team until the 84th minute when Raphael Guerreiro’s shot took a sizeable deflection off Willi Orban and wrongfooted Peter Gulacsi that defending champions, Portugal, finally got what their ball possession deserved.
The Magyars had defended manfully until that point but afterwards became a Cristiano Ronaldo show. Rafa Silva was tripped by Orban and a penalty was awarded. Ronaldo stepped forward and sent Gulacsi the wrong way to score to become the top scorer in European Championships.
The penalty was his 10th goal, one better than Michel Platini. His brace followed immediately after as he exchanged passes with Rafa Silva in the box before he rounded Gulacsi to score his second and Portugal’s third.
The Portugal captain thus took his national team’s goal tally to 106, just three off the world record held by Ali Daei of Iran, who scored 109 goals in 148 appearances.
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The Hungarians were hard done by and the scoreline did not reflect the effort they put into the game for 84 minutes before Portugal got their lucky break. They even thought they had taken the lead when substitute, Szabolcs Schon, beat Rui Patricio at his near post but the youngster was clearly offside when the ball was played to him.
Portugal could have taken the lead early in the first half when Diogo Jota shot on target but he could as well as find a better-placed Ronaldo, who had the freedom of the Hungary box. Ronaldo then blew a chance over the bar as Hungary defended deep.
Portugal are up and running and they have Germany and France to come and for Hungary, there will already be a sinking feeling.