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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JUNE 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates after victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group F match between Hungary and Portugal at Puskas Arena on June 15, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo : Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
France and Portugal opened their Euro 2020 campaigns in impressive fashion, beating Germany and Hungary, respectively, in their group games Tuesday.
Action resumes this coming Tuesday with three games on the schedule: Finland vs. Russia, Turkey vs. Wales, and Italy vs. Switzerland.
Portugal left it late but still managed to grab all three points Tuesday as they secured a comprehensive 3-0 win over Hungary at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a captain’s performance, scoring twice in the latter stages to send Portugal off to a flying start.
Ronaldo double powers Portugal to 3-0 win
Things weren’t easy, though, for the Portuguese as Hungary produced a spirited performance, playing some inspired football as they were cheered on by around 60,000 home fans.
The 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena is the only venue in this year’s tournament that accommodates full crowds, and the fans in attendance on Tuesday did create a great and intense atmosphere, the likes of which have not been seen since the pre-COVID era.
The Hungarians thought they grabbed a shock lead when Szabolcs Schon squeezed in a shot at the near post, but his goal was correctly nullified for being offside.
Raphael Guerreiro then silenced the raucous home crowd in the 84th minute after his shot took a massive deflection off defender Willi Orban and went straight into the back of the net.
That opened the floodgates for Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo producing a masterclass in the dying minutes of the game. He struck a penalty in the 87th minute after Orban had fouled Rafa Silva inside the box. Ronaldo doubled his tally just minutes later, showing excellent skills as he rounded Hungary goalkeeper Gulacsi for Portugal’s third goal.
The legend of Ronaldo continues to grow as he became the oldest player to score twice in a European Championship match. Not bad for a guy who’s playing in his fifth European Championships tournament. With his brace on Tuesday, he has now scored a whopping 11 goals in this competition, surpassing the great Michel Platini on the all-time scoring list, who had nine goals.
Related Article: Euro 2020 Day 4 Roundup: Spain, Sweden play out goalless draw
Hummels own goal sinks Germany
France emerged victorious in their heavyweight clash with Germany Tuesday, winning 1-0 thanks to a Mats Hummels own goal in the 20th minute.
Hummels, who was surprisingly recalled for this tournament after being told his international career was over back in 2019, diverted Lucas Hernandez’s cross into his net for the game’s only goal.
It was a fascinating encounter by the two nations who have combined for five European Championships and six World Cup titles in their storied history.
Though goals weren’t aplenty in this matchup, the game did produce some memorable moments. Germany defender Antonio Rudiger appeared to have bitten the shoulder of Paul Pogba in the opening half, although replays of that incident proved inconclusive. Minutes prior, a Greenpeace protestor had parachuted into the stadium and crashed onto the pitch before being picked up by security.
With the victory, France has now won their opening European Championship match six straight times. On the other hand, the Germans have now lost their past two games at the European Championship, with both of those defeats coming against France.
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