European Championship: Cristiano Ronaldo sets record to break down Hungary
Cristiano Ronaldo struck a late double to help holders Portugal get off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over Hungary in front of a 67,000 crowd on Tuesday as the forward became the all-time leading scorer at European Championship finals.
Hungary rode a wave of early pressure from Portugal in the Group F clash and had a goal ruled out for offside shortly before Portugal’s Raphael Guerreiro broke the deadlock at the other end with a deflected effort in the 84th minute.
Captain Ronaldo sealed the win by lashing home from the penalty spot in the 87th to move ahead of Michel Platini as the all-time top scorer at the finals on 10 goals, which he quickly turned into 11 by dribbling the ball into the net in added time. For the record, Hungary’s total number of goals at European Championships too stand at 11!
Cristiano Ronaldo 🤩— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 15, 2021
⚽️ All-time EURO top scorer (11 goals)
All-time top scorer for Portugal (106 goals)
👕 First player to appear at 5 EURO final tournaments
👏 First player to score at 5 consecutive EURO final tournaments #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/rjJ7C5iXo1
The two sides had drawn 3-3 in one of the best games of Euro 2016 and although there were fewer goals this time around, the match was no less compelling as the vociferous locals filled the Puskas Arena to capacity.
The action on the pitch mirrored the fervour in the stands as Portugal played with real intensity. Diogo Jota had the first clear sight of goal when he thumped a shot which was parried by ’keeper Peter Gulacsi, incurring the wrath of a furious Ronaldo who was in a better place to shoot.
Hungary did little attacking but pressed energetically to limit Portugal’s space.
Portugal’s veteran defender Pepe nearly scored at the start of the second half, his header from a Fernandes corner tipped away by the ever-alert Gulacsi.
Hungary substitute Szabolcs Schon set the stadium alight in the 80th minute when his shot squirmed past Patricio but the linesman’s flag was quickly raised to puncture the celebrations.
Guerreiro soon brought the hosts more pain as his scuffed shot trickled into the far bottom corner off the foot of Hungary defender Willi Orban, who moments later fouled Rafa Silva to allow Ronaldo to compensate for his earlier miss and score from the spot.
Ronaldo then combined with Silva to calmly dance past Gulacsi and round off a day of records after becoming the only player to feature in five European Championships and to play the most games in the tournament.
Adjudged the best player on Tuesday, Ronaldo has also equalled Andreas Iniesta’s record of most Man of the Match awards — 6 — at Euro finals.