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Hungary 3-3 Portugal: two sides to the story

Portugal team reporter Joseph Walker and our man in the Hungary camp Matthew Watson-Broughton catch their breath and discuss the roller-coaster 3-3 draw between their sides in Lyon.

in the end, it finished 3-3
in the end, it finished 3-3 ©Panoramic

EURO2016.com team reporters Joseph Walker and Matthew Watson-Broughton witnessed a classic at the Stade de Lyon on Wednesday, as Hungary and Portugal played out a six-goal Group F thriller that had more twists and turns than your average roller coaster. Here, they relive it.

Joseph Walker, Portugal reporter (@UEFAcomJoeW): Well Matt, I don't know about you but my adrenaline is still pumping. What a game, what an atmosphere! Let's try and chew the fat. Easy thing to start with: the Hungary XI ...

Matthew Watson-Broughton, Hungary reporter (@UEFAcomMattWB): In truth it was no surprise that Bernd Storck rested his four players on yellows, nor that he recalled his first-choice striker Ádám Szalai in place of Tamás Priskin. I can't fault him for the changes. Portugal's?

Joe: Well, it was a big shout to drop Ricardo Quaresma, but Fernando Santos went back to his tried-and-tested 4-4-2 setup, which seemed to work ... Kind of! From the off Portugal were on the front foot and it looked like it might be their night to finally "open the ketchup". Then came the Zoltán Gera bolt from the blue ... or should that be Boltán? I'll get my coat.

Matt: Gera lurking on the edge of the area searching for half-cleared corners is a trademark of his, and he certainly still has a penchant for the spectacular – even at 37.

Joe: It was vintage Gera, rolling back the years.

Matt: I still felt Portugal were in the game, very dangerous when running at the Hungarian defence – as evidenced when Ronaldo saw Nani making that run in behind in the 42nd minute. I feared the worst.

Joe: Funny you should say that, because I thought Hungary looked pretty tasty going forward with every attack. Their pace really had Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho on the ropes. I personally feared the worst when Gera scored and thought Portugal might lose their heads, but to their credit they kept them. Half-time came at a bad time, though.

Ronaldo: We were out of EURO three times

Matt: Honestly, I feared this much-changed Hungary team would be porous in the second half and could really suffer. At the same time I hoped the sort of situations from which Hungary often threaten would arise, and my prayers were answered in the form of a free-kick in classic Balázs Dzsudzsák territory, two minutes into the second half.

Joe: Yeah, I know what you mean. Santos made a positive change in bringing on Renato Sanches, but Portugal's penchant for doing things the hard way prevailed with that free-kick, of which the concession was needless and all their own doing.

Matt: That deflected strike could have had a terrible impact on Portuguese morale but to their credit they immediately came roaring back, with a certain someone making EURO history with his heel.

Joe: What a goal to make history with! When that Dzsudzsák strike got deflected in, I just thought 'this is not meant to be', only for Cristiano Ronaldo's goal to have me believe they could win it and top the group. They had come from behind twice – now go win it.

Then lightning struck for a second time. Eliseu played with fire inviting Dzsudzsák onto his left peg; I was just thinking 'get him onto his right!' but no. Boom. 3-2. Santos had his last spin of the wheel as he threw on Ricardo Quaresma and it paid dividends.

Dzsudzsák pride at 'fantastic' Hungary

Matt: Portugal showed they are made of stern stuff, even more so when Ronaldo is given heading practice ten metres from goal under little pressure. Three-all after little more than an hour and the game was up for grabs.

Joe: Yeah it was, although Portugal had four attacking players on the pitch leaving them outnumbered in the middle of the park. Ákos Elek then smashed the post and I thought 'they need to kill this game and take the sting out of it'. The fans – both sets were great – were having none of it and Portugal's implored them to attack, attack, attack.

Matt: What were you expecting from the last 20 minutes?

Joe: Who knows? I had the calculator out. I was working out the group outcome and was waiting for another six goals. Both sides seemed to have completely worn each other out with the intensity of their play.

When Santos brought Danilo on for Nani he showed he was happy with a draw, which Hungary seemed content with too. They played it out and it seemed it would be England for Portugal yet again at a EURO. But that would have been too easy for this Portugal team, and a late Iceland winner changed the complexion of everything. Onto the last 16 we go!