• Ronaldo rescues Portugal, Iceland into last 16

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    Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) vies for the ball with Hungary’s defender Adam Lang during the Euro 2016 group F football match between Hungary and Portugal at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

    Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) vies for the ball with Hungary’s defender Adam Lang during the Euro 2016 group F football match between Hungary and Portugal at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

    LYON: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to become the first player to score in four European Championships and rescue Portugal in a thrilling 3-3 draw that took them into the last 16 on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

    Euro debutants Iceland also set up a last-16 clash with England on Monday as substitute Ingvi Traustason’s last-gasp winner secured a 2-1 win over Austria.

    Portugal and Iceland join hosts France, Wales, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, England, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Northern Ireland and Hungary in the last 16.

    The final two spots will be split between Belgium, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Turkey.

    Ronaldo was making a record 17th appearance in the European Championship and twice rescued his side from an embarrassing early exit in Lyon as surprise package Hungary ensured their place at the top of Group F.

    The Real Madrid star had earlier looked to be feeling the pressure when he threw a reporter’s microphone into a lake when approached on a pre-match team walk.

    However, after disappointing performances against Iceland and Austria, Ronaldo came good just in time to set up a meeting with Croatia in Lens on Saturday.

    Zoltan Gera smashed Hungary into an early lead before Ronaldo slipped in a pass to Nani to equalize before half-time.

    Hungary captain Balazs Dzsudzsak twice threatened to cause a massive upset by sending Ronaldo crashing out early in the second period.

    Dzsudzsak’s deflected free-kick put Hungary 2-1 up, but Ronaldo responded with a sumptuous backheel for his historic goal.

    Just five minutes later another deflected Dzsudzsak effort restored Hungary’s lead.

    Yet Ronaldo was not to be denied as a towering header moved him to within one goal of equalling disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini’s record mark of nine goals in Euros finals.

    Portugal seemed set for a meeting with old foes England, bringing back memories of penalty shootout wins for Ronaldo’s men in Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006.

    However, Traustason’s strike at the death ensured Iceland their first ever win in a major finals and second place in the group and a date with England in Nice.

    Jon Dadi Bodvarsson swept Iceland into an 18th-minute lead at the Stade de France, with Austria paying dearly for Aleksandar Dragovic’s missed first-half penalty.

    Substitute Alessandro Schoepf levelled for Austria on the hour, but Traustason’s 94th-minute strike condemned Marcel Koller’s side, highly-fancied to shine before the tournament, to a premature exit.

    AFP

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