Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer at the European Championships after two goals in the final minutes helped title holders Portugal beat Hungary 3-0 in their Group F opener on Tuesday.
Ronaldo now has 11 goals, taking sole possession of the record he previously shared with France’s Michel Platini on nine.
Portugal finally broke the deadlock in a game they dominated thanks to Raphael Guerreiro six minutes from time just after Hungary had a goal ruled out for offside.
A Ronaldo penalty and a second effort added to the final score which was harsh on Hungary, who worked hard in front of a packed Puskas Area in Budapest – the only stadium to be filled to capacity at the Euros due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The other Group F match between world champions France and Germany is later on Tuesday.
Portugal had no trouble controlling the first half but struggled to convert their chances created into goals.
Diego Jota had a good early opportunity but his powerful header was saved by Hungary keeper Peter Gulacsi, who also managed to block an attempt by Ronaldo in the 19th minute when the Portuguese superstar was already offside.
Hungary threatened for the first time in the 37th minute, when Adam Szalai header was firmly held by Rui Patricio.
The second half started where the first left off and Pepe forced Gulacsi to make another save right away. Hungary started to spend a bit more time in the Portuguese half, but still without great danger.
Bruno Fernandes had his first shot in the 68th minute but Gulacsi was again superb to save.
The stadium exploded with celebrations when Szabolcs Schon hit the net for Hungary, but the cheers soon became boos as the goal was rightly ruled out for offside.
It was Portugal’s cue to open the scoring as Guerreiro found his way through the Hungarian blockade and his shot ricocheted through several players and past Gulacsi.
“It was a late goal but we won the game. After scoring [the first] it was easier,” Portugal midfielder Danilo told Portuguese broadcasters SIC.
Ronaldo then wrote his name in the record books with a goal from the spot after Willi Orban fouled Rafa Silva in the box. The Portuguese superstar then scored his 106th for Portugal and closed the gap to Iranian Ali Daei’s record (109) of the all-time men’s international top goalscorer.
“It was important to win, it was a difficult game,” Ronaldo said. “I’m grateful to the team for helping me to score two goals and be the Man of the Match. Now we must go on.”
Portugal coach Fernando Santos said his team had a moment of “restlessness” in the second half but got back on track.
“We scored the first goal, Hungary opened up spaces and the team wanted to score more goals. It ended well,” he said.
Hungary’s Szalai said the defeat “is frustrating” and that Portugal “didn’t work enough to score,” while keeper Gulacsi believed they needed a little luck to score a goal.
“It would have been very important, but we will try again on Saturday,” he said, when Hungary welcome world champions France in Budapest and Portugal face Germany in Munich.