Nobody expected to witness six goals when Hungary clashed with Portugal in their final Group F game of the competition in Lyon on Wednesday. However, that is exactly how it turned out to be -- a cracker of the highest level.
Portugal started brightly early on as they created enough chances within the first ten minutes of the game in an effort to gain the early momentum. Nani was lively as ever upfront and the Fenerbahce winger's header from a cross in the 11th minute sailed just above the crossbar.
Hungary were just trying to settle in and their pressing game resulted in an early goal for them in the 20th minute of the match. Zoltan Gera lashed a stunner of a half-volley from the edge of the box that saw the ball enter the bottom corner of the goal with brute force and that was it, the opening blood was earned by Hungary.
The Seleccao, however, didn't back down and Cristiano Ronaldo, making his 129th appearance for the Portugal national team, used all his skills to score from a freekick in the 29th minute of the game but Hungary custodian Gabor Kiraly was up for the challenge, parrying the travelling ball away.
Joao Moutinho, playing in a more advanced role than he usually does, played a number of crosses inside the Hungary box but somehow the defenders managed to thwart the Portugal attacks. The Monaco midfielder had a goal of his disallowed in the 39th minute as he was offside.
However, the bad luck for Fernando Santos' side didn't go on for long as Nani finally made use of a brilliant through ball from Ronaldo in the 42nd minute of play to slot the ball home with elan using his left foot. The equaliser came just before the half time.
The second half was a different story altogether. It was an end to end action, in the very true sense of the phrase right from the 46th minute. Hungary got one-goal cushion again in the 47th minute as Balazs Dzsudzsak struck from a freekick to get the lead back for his side. Incredibly, just three minutes later, Portugal got their equaliser once again as it was skipper Ronaldo's moment this time to get on the scoresheet.
The Real Madrid superstar utilised a cross by Joao Mario to get the goal for his side in the 50th minute. More breathtaking moments were in store as moments later, yet another DzsudzsÃ¡k goal saw Hungary get the lead in the 55th minute from yet another freekick. The score became 3-2 in favour of Hungary.
Unbelievable as it gets, for the third time in the match, Portugal found their equaliser and this time, too, it was Ronaldo who made the score 3-3 in the 62nd minute, heading in a great cross from substitute Ricardo Quaresma.
Until the final whistle, the match remained an end to end action. Portugal qualified for the last 16 of the competition as they became one of the best third-placed teams.