In what appeared to be a game that kept every sport loving fan at the edge of their seat, the 3 nil scoreline definitely does not tell the whole story of the game. It was a game that begged for a moment of brilliance, and it took Borussia Dortmund’s left back Raphael Guerrero latching on to a deflected cross from Rafa Silva, for the flood gates of goals to open.
With Portugal now having one foot in the knockout phase, we bring you five things to note from the encounter.
1. PORTUGAL’S strength in depthEmbed from Getty Images
Fernando Santos’ side definitely boast of the best attacking line ups at the tournament. On the field and on the bench, the attacking quality of the Portuguese seems to be endless. The Hungarians could not contain the insane energy levels of the front men toward the end of the match. As Hungary tired, Portugal only got stronger and stronger as they brought on three highly influential attackers, who ended up playing a massive role in the victory.
2. NO CANCELO, NO PROBLEMEmbed from Getty Images
Joao Cancelo was ruled out earlier this week due to picking up COVID-19, which could still be a massive loss for the Portuguese at the tournament. But Nelson Semedo performed excellently well in his stead, not to mention the other three at the back alongside him.
Credits must go to the ever reliable Pepe, and the way he organizes his defense line. With Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro and the positionally sound Danilo Pereira in front of them, Portugal’s defense had very little to worry about, and will be difficult to break down as the tournament goes on.
3. RESILIENT AND PHYSICAL HUNGARYEmbed from Getty Images
Though they may have lost in front of their fans, Marco Rossi’s side can definitely pick up the positives from this encounter as they were in it up until the 85th minute, keeping the score-line at 0-0. Their physicality as well as resilience will definitely be one to look out for as they play Germany and France.
However, their physicality also got them into trouble, conceding far too many fouls and a penalty late on. This penalty was ultimately converted by Cristiano Ronaldo, killing off Hungary’s chances of victory for good.
4. DID IT TAKE TOO LONG FOR THEM TO SCORE?Embed from Getty Images
If there is anything Fernando Santos has to be worried about, it has to be his side’s conversion rate in the opening match. Though they had a resounding 3-0 victory, the Portuguese team should have converted earlier than they did. Against another team who will give the Selecaos less time and space on the ball, the Portuguese may rue those missed chances. Santos will hope his forwards can do better in front of goal earlier on in the next few games.
5. RECORD BREAKING CRISTIANO RONALDOEmbed from Getty Images
As always the Portuguese all time goal scorer came up big for his side again. His brace sees him surpass Michel Platini as the all time highest goal scorer in the European Championships with 11 goals, as well as ensured he became the first man to score in 5 different editions of the tournament. Congratulations Cristiano on another fantastic record.
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