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SPORTS

Hungary 3-3 Portugal: Five things we learned

SPORTS By Mirror | June 23rd 2016
Hungery vs Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo rescued Portugal from Euro elimination with two second-half goals in the Stade de Lyon.

Three times the Portuguese fell behind to Hungary in the best game of the tournament so far – and three times they conjured up a response when it looked like they were on the brink of humiliation.

First Nani struck just before half-time to cancel out a superb opener from former West Brom and Fulham midfielder Zoltan Gera.

Twice Hungary skipper Balazs Dzsudzsak put the Group F leaders in front during a breathtaking second-half.

But Ronaldo , desperate to open his Euro account, dragged his team level both times.

At one point, it seemed Portugal would be facing England in Nice on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals, until Iceland's last-minute winner against Austria in Paris condemned them to third place.

Here are five things we learned:

1. England have got off the hook

It seemed Roy Hodgson's men were destined to face Portugal until Iceland beat Austria in the last minute. Fernando Santos' team are poor at the back, but they showed how lethal they can be going forward.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo is back

It all seemed to be going wrong again for Portugal's talisman, but he opened his Euro account with two priceless second-half goals to take his team into the last 16.

3. But his free-kicks need work

Mind you, the Real Madrid star might want to have a word with his ego and let someone else take the free-kicks. It's 40 attempts and counting for Ronaldo at major tournaments - and he still hasn't found the back of the net.

4. Question marks over Kiraly

If Gabor Kiraly is still Hungary's best goalkeeper then they have done well to reach the last 16. The 40-year-old went down like a man twice his age when Nani beat him at his near post to bring Portugal level.

5. Format change has worked

Without doubt, increasing the Euros to 24 teams has added to the excitement. Third place in a group can put you through to the last 16 so it's hard not to have something to play for in the final round of games.

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