Portugal needed a win when they took on Hungary in the last group game to qualify for the knockout stages but their pursuit for the qualification hit an early blow when Zoltan Gera scored for Hungary in what was a shocked crows as Portugal qualification hopes hang by a thread. However Ronaldo and Nani combined to produced the equalizer just before the break. After the break game was even more open as Dzsudzsak scored a brace either side of Ronaldo’s equalizer to keep Hungary in the lead. But Ronaldo score his second to make it 3-3 as Portugal qualify for knockouts but only just as third placed team while Iceland beat Austria to go second in the group.
Absolute cracking game as Euro 2016 finally came to life. Hungary and Portugal put on a show with a 6 goal thriller taking both teams to next round. While Iceland made history by qualifying for the knockouts after beating Austria 2-1 in the other game.
Hungary 3-2 Portugal
[ European Championship 2016 ]
19′ [1 – 0] Zoltan Gera put Hungary in lead with his 19th minute goal
42′ [1 – 1] Nani scores just before the break to make it 1-1 on the night
47′ 2 – 1 Balazs Dzsudzsak
50′ 2 – 2 Cristiano Ronaldo
55′ 3 – 2 Balazs Dzsudzsak
Cristiano Ronaldo has come under severe criticism for his on and off the field antiques. His bashing of Iceland style of play in the first game did not go well with the fans and media while he missed several chances against Austria including that penalty miss which might prove costly if Portugal fail to beat Hungary. Anything but a win combine with Iceland winning their last game will knockout Portugal. Hungary can play more defensively knowing all they need is a draw to book their place as group winners. So impetus is on Portugal to come out and play some attacking football.
Expected Starting Lineups: Hungary coach Bernd Storck has the luxury of rotating the squad against Portugal with their qualification assured regardless of the results. But they will still be keep to finish first in the group. Attila Fiola is a injury concern and might be given rest while Adam Lang to start in back four.
Portugal on the other hand has couple of minor injury worries with both Raphael Guerreiro and Andre Gomez set to pass late fitness test. Ronaldo will start upfront with Nani and Quaresma. This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Wednesday.
Match Predictions: Portugal did not play too bad in the opening games as the results suggest. Ronaldo missed atleast 4-5 changes against Austria and on another day he might have bagged a hattrick. Well that day might be against Hungary, So I expect record breaker Ronaldo (playing his 17th Euro match, most by any player in history) to finally break his duck and earn important three points.