Portugal 2-2 France: Ronaldo puts holders into last 16
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
France claimed first place in Group F, though Portugal will join them in the round of 16 as one of the best third-placed teams.
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Cristiano Ronaldo dispatched twice from the penalty spot – in yet another night of individual records – to cancel out Karim Benzema's double and ensure Portugal advanced to the round of 16 alongside Group F winners France.
Match in brief
France had already confirmed their last-16 spot ahead of the 2016 final repeat, but in greater need of points, Portugal – fresh from a 4-2 loss to Germany – could not afford another defeat.
In a cagey opening, Ronaldo nevertheless sniffed out a couple of early half chances and it wasn’t long before the Portuguese captain was on the scoresheet after Hugo Lloris felled Danilo, swaggering up to the penalty spot to hammer in on 31 minutes – his first ever goal against Les Bleus.
Sitting deep, Portugal looked comfortable. However, on the stroke of half-time, France struck back. Sent to ground in the Portuguese box, Kylian Mbappé won the second spot kick of the match; Benzema converted with aplomb.
France looked to have turned the game around shortly after the restart, as Benzema squeezed in from Paul Pogba’s impeccable through ball. With Hungary ahead in Munich, Portugal were heading out until Jules Koundé handled the ball inside the area and Ronaldo inevitably fired his side back on terms – extending his EURO all-time scoring record to 14, as well as equalling Ali Daei's all-time international world record of 109 goals.
As the final whistle loomed, Fernando Santos’ side managed cling on to progress with France to the EURO 2020 round of 16 as one of the four best third-place teams.
Star of the Match: Karim Benzema (France)
"For his two first goals at EURO and for the good movement on the second goal."
Corinne Diacre, UEFA Technical Observer
Check out every Heineken Star of the Match at UEFA EURO 2020.
Carlos Machado, Portugal reporter
In a thrilling game, Portugal managed to go through against title contenders France. Ronaldo left his mark again and the holders once more proved that they can compete with anyone, being both tactical and clinical when needed.
David Crossan, France reporter
Topping the group was France's aim and they achieved that. With Benzema back on the goal trail, they will fancy their chances as they advance through the tournament, although they know they'll have to improve and Deschamps may have a problem at left-back through a growing injury list.
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach: "What I really liked was the team's collective behaviour. When I was asked what we had to do that was different from the game against Germany and I said it was to be like ourselves. We were strong, consistent, with a great spirit. We can continue to improve. In the second half we didn't start well but we regrouped."
Diogo Dalot, Portugal defender: "We knew it was a very difficult game against a very strong opponent. We managed to responded to the goal conceded, I made my debut, and to top it off with qualifying was very good – a perfect night. We'll have time to analyse Belgium but the most important thing now is to recharge our batteries."
Rúben Neves, Portugal midfielder: "We are champions of Europe. We knew we could do better. Once again I thank the fans; it was an amazing atmosphere here in Hungary. The most important thing is that we are at the next stage. We went through a difficult period, we responded well. France were never on top, we controlled the match well."
Didier Deschamps, France coach: "It was a fight and it wasn’t easy. We gave them the two goals from mistakes. We tried to win it. It means we’re top and that’s the best position. We’re going to enjoy that and recover now as a new competition is starting."
Karim Benzema, France forward: "I never doubted myself, but I knew there were expectations of me from the country. I managed to score and I’m going to savour it with everybody."
Paul Pogba, France midfielder: "We're satisfied and the most important thing was to top the group. We managed that in a group that wasn't easy. We know we need to improve."
- Portugal have only lost four of their previous 23 EURO final tournament group stage matches.
- Portugal have kept only two clean sheets in their last 11 EURO group stage matches.
- Portugal have scored two goals or more in six of their last eight EURO group stage matches. Ronaldo has made the most appearances in EURO final tournaments (24).
- Ronaldo is the top scorer in EURO final tournaments with 14 goals, and overall with 45 goals including qualifying. He has scored at five successive EURO final tournaments.
- Ronaldo's first goal tonight was his first ever against France.
- Ronaldo is the first Portuguese player to score in all three group games at a EURO.
- Benzema’s first goal tonight was his first goal in a EURO final tournament – and his first goal for France since October 2015.
- Ronaldo has scored 48 goals in his last 45 international matches.
- Ronaldo has scored 109 goals for Portugal, level with the world record set by Iran's Ali Daei.
- Ronaldo has scored seven goals in Portugal’s last four EURO group matches.
- France have lost just one of their last nine EURO group games (W4 D4 L1).
- France have lost only one of their last ten matches at the EURO final tournament (W6 D3 L1) – against Portugal in the 2016 final.
- France have only failed to score in two of their last 23 international matches.
- France are unbeaten in 12 of their last 13 encounters with Portugal; the only exception is their defeat in the EURO 2016 final.
Portugal: Rui Patrício; Nélson Semedo (Dalot 70), Rúben Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; João Moutinho (Neves 72), Danilo (Palhinha 46), Renato Sanches (Oliveira 88); Bernardo Silva (Bruno Fernandes 72), Ronaldo, Diogo Jota
France: Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernández (Digne 46, Rabiot 52); Pogba, Kanté; Tolisso (Coman 66), Griezmann (Sissoko 87), Mbappé; Benzema