European champions Portugal are in the 16th round of the European Football Championship. The team around superstar Cristiano Ronaldo split from world champions France 2: 2 (1: 1) in the final group match. Ronaldo hit one hand and one penalty (31st min / 60th). Karim Benzema also converted a penalty kick (45th) to give France an interim lead (48th).
France had already qualified for the 16th round before being kick-off. Due to the draw, coach Didier Deschamps’ team was in first place with five points. Portugal (4 points) finished fourth in the next third round. Germany (4) finished second, beating Hungary 2-2 in a draw. Hungary (1) is removed.
The game in Budapest started without any dangerous penalty area shots. Portugal tried to make controlled attacks, France tried to get ahead with quick passes – in the 16th minute. Paul Pogba sent Kylian Mbape into the box with a ball, but failed to stand free with striker goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
Portugal gave the ball to France more and more often, but then benefited from a quality. Following a high ball into the French penalty area, Danilo came to the head, but stormy goalkeeper Hugo Loris hit him in the face with his hand and elbow. Spanish referee Antonio Mathews fined Lagos. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo took the lead 1-0 (31st).
With the lead behind them, Portugal had more confidence, had more control of the ball and came closer to the French penalty area. Nothing to see offensive from the world champion. But shortly before the break, Nalson clashed with rival Mbabane in the Semdo penalty area, and the referee fined Lagos France – a tough decision. Karim Benzema scored from the penalty spot to equalize (45th).
Benzema scores after restart
There were only three minutes in the second half when Benzema struck again. Pogba played a pass to the penalty area and the attacker hit from a sharp angle, making it 2-1 (48th).
France took the lead. But within fifteen minutes, referee Lagos pointed out the matter for the third time. France defender Jules Conte receives the cross from Ronaldo. Ronaldo also scored from the penalty spot to score again (60th). It was his fifth goal of the match and 109th for an international – thus setting a world record for Iranian Ali Day.
Portugal may have fallen behind again when Bogba tried from a long distance. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio showed a strong save and turned the ball into the crossbar (67th).
After that the game was very restrained and both teams were satisfied with the draw. France’s participation in the 16th round was already clear and Portugal were in balance.