CRISTIANO RONALDO’S double made him the Euros’ all-time record scorer as holders Portugal stung unlucky minnows Hungary with a late triple.
Ronaldo bagged an 87th-minutepenalty and a glorious stoppage-time clincher to total 11 strikes in European Championship tournaments, two more than French midfield magician Michel Platini.
Cristiano Ronaldo hails his historic double as Portugal woke late on to sink Hungary 3-0 after a goalless first 83 minutesCredit: AP
Cristiano Ronaldo rounds off a superb move with his second and Portugal’s third goal, giving him a Euros record of 11 goalsCredit: AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo tucks home his record-setting penalty as he beats Michel Platini’s Euros record of nine goals in finalsCredit: Getty
Raphael Guerreiro had only bundled Portugal ahead on 83 minutes to break the hearts of 61,000 in Budapest.
That was also cruel on a hard-working Hungary side who until then had looked strong value for a draw in this Group of Death opener.
Ronaldo’s history-making also covered up for his amazing miss earlier on.
The Juventus frontman, 36, skied a delightful cross from Bruno Fernandes over the bar, then held his heads in shock and embarrassment.
Only Spain a decade ago have successfully retained a Euros crown.
And Portugal started with six of the Euro 2016 winners in their team for this Group F opener at the Puskas Arena, a ground used by Liverpool and Manchester City for Champions League matches due to coronavirus restrictions.
ALL-TIME TOP 10 EUROS SCORERS
HERE’S the list of strike stars who have netted most in European Championships finals – with Cristiano Ronaldo now out on his own at the top.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 11 goals in 22 games
Michel Platini (France) – 9 goals in 5 games
Alan Shearer – 7 goals in 9 games
Antoine Griezmann (France) – 6 goals in 7 games
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Holland) – 6 goals in 8 games
Patrick Kluivert (Holland) – 6 goals in 9 games
Wayne Rooney (England) – 6 goals in 10 games
Thierry Henry (France) – 6 goals in 11 games
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) – 6 goals in 13 games
Nuno Gomes (Portugal) – 6 goals in 14 games
Raphael Guerreiro celebrates his 83rd minute breakthrough goal for PortugalCredit: Getty
Cristiano Ronaldo reacts to his amazing miss as Hungary keeper Peter Gulacsi encourages hsi team-mates in front of 60,000 fansCredit: AP
Portugal’s firepower was vastly superior to their hosts but for so long their big names fluffed their lines.
Ronaldo was furious when Diogo Jota opted to shoot rather than passearly on.
And while the Liverpool forward later saw a shot on the turn also saved by goalkeeper Gulacsi – himself a former Red – Ronaldo’s efforts were arguably worse.
He toe-ended a volley into Gulacsi, only to then be flagged offside, and then flicked a header wide.
But the most glaring miss saw him blaze over unmarked from six yards after Fernandes’ delicate right-footed centre from the left.
Hungary focused so much on keeping out their opponents out that their own chances were limited, the best seeing Adam Szalai’s weak header easily caught by Rui Patricio.
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to hurt his shoulder but was fine to carry on – and bag a record-making late doubleCredit: AP
Juventus legend Cristiano Ronaldo grimaces in Portugal’s Euro 2020 openerCredit: AP
Gulacsi saved a Pepe header at the start of the second half and then tipped a swerving, low drive from Fernandes around a post.
And although Hungary’s defensive organisation was not the slickest, it was good enough to raise Portugal’s frustration levels.
Substitute Szabolcs Schon even thought he had snatched an historic victory 10 minutes from time when he cut in from the right to beat Patricio at his near post – but a late offside flag was confirmed by VAR to cut short celebrations.
Brief joy then turned to a blitz of despair as Portugal struck twice in eight minutes, Ronaldo as so often, but this time belatedly, snatching the limelight and glory.
Hungary’s Adam Szalai and Portugal’s Pepe Pool show the emotions of a feisty group gameCredit: Reuters
Portugal’s Liverpool winger Diogo Jota fires in a shot against outsiders HungaryCredit: Reuters
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