ronaldo portugal hungary.jpg
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (R) celebrates scoring the 2-2 with Nani during the UEFA EURO 2016 group F preliminary round match between Hungary and Portugal at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France, 22 June 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo delivered two goals and an assist to secure the 3-3 draw Portugal needed against already qualified Hungary to ensure progress to the Euro 2016 knock-out stage on Wednesday.

Zoltan Gera gave Hungary the lead after 19 minutes and captain Balazs Dzsudzsak found the net with two deflections early in the second half in Lyon.

But Portugal equalized each strike with man of the match Ronaldo setting up Nani before the break and then finding his first goals in the tournament after the interval. The first was a stunning flick from Joao Mario's cross and the second a powerful close-range header.

Hungary progress as Group F winners on five points and face the runners-up from Group E, likely Belgium, in the last 16 while Portugal, on three, go through in third-place to meet Croatia. Iceland beat bottom team Austria 2-1 in the other game to go through as runners-up behind Hungary on goal difference and meet England.

Portugal had dominated their previous matches but only scoring one goal in two games resulted in two draws and meant they could not afford to lose against Hungary.

"It's a privilege for me to be named as man of the match," Ronaldo said in response to a question asked by a UEFA media officer. He refused to take questions from reporters in the customary post-match news conference, saying he would move to the mixed zone - which he then passed through without stopping.

"But our priority was to win the match, we failed to do that. We played a good match, it was a little insane, Hungary attacked, we attacked, there were many goals."

Bernd Storck's Hungary were already guaranteed to progress and made five changes to the team which drew with Iceland last time. All the players who had previously been booked were left on the bench to avoid the risk of suspension.

"A big compliment to my team, we have improved our performance compared to the first two games," Storck said "We knew it would be a hard game.

"My general impression is it was an excellent game, (it was) excellent progress for our team."

Hungary pushed forward on the break when possible and snatched the lead slightly against the run of play. Nani's poor headed clearance from a corner fell perfectly for veteran Gera to control on his chest and lash a superb left-foot strike into the bottom corner.

The 37-year-old Gera became the second oldest player to score at a Euro finals, UEFA said.

Portugal levelled three minutes before the break as a pin-point pass from Ronaldo split the Hungary defence and Nani atoned for previous errors with a low finish past keeper Gabor Kiraly at the near post.

The match exploded into life after the restart as Dzsudzsak's deflected free kick wrong-footed keeper Rui Patricio but Hungary's lead lasted only 120 seconds.

There appeared little danger as Ronaldo went to meet a cross from the right that was behind him but he sent a magnificent backheel flick across Kiraly and into the far corner.

The strike made Ronaldo the first to score at four different European Championships finals.

"This is another record but I always say that comes naturally," Ronaldo said in a flash interview. "The main thing was to make it through."

Dzsudzsak restored the lead in 55, cutting inside from the right to fire home from the edge of the box with the aid of another deflection but once more Portugal - through Ronaldo - had the answer.

Substitute Ricardo Quaresma had only just been introduced after the hour but his cross from a short corner found Ronaldo on the six-yard line and his header left Kiraly helpless.

"I want to praise my players because three times we were out of the next stage," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "I have to praise my team because they managed to draw.

"But we knew the most important thing was to qualify for the next stage."

Play raged to the other end and Akos Elek almost gave Hungary the lead for the fourth time with a shot which smacked the inside of the post.

Portugal dominated the closing stages but could not find a late winner.

"We tried but we were still cautious," Santos said, adding his team could not push forward too much and risk elimination.

Latest news

Car bombing injures five soldiers in Somali capital

Five Somali soldiers were injured Monday when a car they were chasing blew up in the capital Mogadishu, security officials and witnesses said.

Israeli military confirms strikes on several Hamas outposts in Gaza

The Israeli military confirmed on Monday that it had sent fighter jets to strike several posts belonging to the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip in response to an earlier rocket attack.

Croatian FM rejects claims gov't will change abortion law, advocates dignity of LGBT persons

Croatian Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier said on Monday he absolutely rejected allegations that the government would change the abortion law, and added that he advocated the dignity of LGBT persons.

Croats say Bosnia's public broadcaster should be overhauled based on Swiss or Belgian model

Major Croat political parties that make up the Croat National Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HNS BiH) will insist on the reorganisation of the existing state public broadcaster as they believe that the current system of public broadcasting is contrary to the Constitution and discriminatory against the Croats.

Austria and Germany seek tighter EU to face US, Russia

EU countries must close ranks in the face of pressures from the new US administration and from Russia, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Monday in Vienna.

Danish premier and opposition leader reject EU referendum

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and the leader of the main opposition Social Democrats both reject staging a referendum on the country's membership of the European Union as suggested by eurosceptics.

French PM slams "irresponsible" Fillon over "near-civil war" comment

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve hit back Monday at conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, accusing him of being "irresponsible" for saying the race was taking place in a climate of "near-civil war."

Serbia opens two more policy areas in its EU accession talks

Serbia on Monday opened two new policy areas in its EU entry talks, thus bringing the number of opened policy areas to eight.

EC: Economic sentiment for Croatia deteriorates in February

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), a composite indicator made up of five sectoral confidence indicators, deteriorated for Croatia in February with the subdued confidence of companies from the services and retail sectors having a higher weight than improving consumers' confidence, according to a report released by the European Commission on Monday.

Frankfurt, London exchange operators' stock fall on merger doubts

Shares in the operators of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Deutsche Boerse fell sharply on Monday after the LSE threw fresh doubts on their planned 29-billion-euro (30.1-billion-dollar) merger to forge Europe's biggest exchange.

ICJ asks Bosnia's leadership to state its position on review request

The State Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to make a clear statement as to whether it supports the request for a review of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) genocide ruling against Serbia, the Croat member of the country's three-member presidency, Dragan Covic, said on Monday.

White Helmets, grateful for Oscar nod, hope for peace in Syria

Members of the Syria Civil Defence group, a neutral team of some 3,000 volunteers providing aid to Syria's rebel-held areas, expressed joy on Monday that a film documenting their work won an Oscar for best short documentary.