Hungary v Portugal, Tuesday June 21
Lyon, Live on BBC1, 5pm
Group F concludes on Wednesday afternoon when Iceland meet Austria in Paris and favourites Portugal take on group leaders Hungary in the Stade de Lyon (5pm, live on BBC1).
Portugal – the story so far
Portugal know that anything other than a win will put them in a seriously precarious position in Group F. If they lose they are definitely out and a draw will leave them out of the competition UNLESS Iceland and Austria also draw AND Portugal have a better goal difference than Iceland AND if 3 points is enough to secure them a place as one of the 4 best 3rd placed teams… Unlikely.
Having slammed Iceland in his post-match comments for being overly negative, Cristiano Ronaldo can only have himself to blame for Portugal’s inability to defeat Austria in their second Group F match. Having already hit the post twice, Ronaldo’s late penalty hit the woodwork for a third time and with it went Portugal’s hopes of picking up 3 points.
Portugal started the tournament as favourites for Group F and were many people’s choice for an outside shot at winning the whole thing, but to date they’ve been utterly underwhelming. They’ve taken an astonishing 41 shots in their two games, and Ronaldo has had 20 alone – considerably more that a number of nations have managed in total. This time round they know they have to win, and it could be exactly the focus they need to kick start their Euro 2016.
Hungary – the story so far
The Hungarians are in dreamland having already guaranteed themselves a place in the Round of 16 thanks to victory against Austria and a draw against Iceland. Should they avoid defeat in their final group match, they will definitely finish top of Group F regardless of the result in the other match. Should they lose to Portugal: If Austria beat or draw with Iceland, Hungary will finish in 2nd place and if Iceland beat Austria, Hungary will finish in 3rd place, but will qualify for the Round of 16 as one of the four best placed 3rd placed teams (at least three other groups are guaranteed to provide teams with only 3 points).
Hungary got their Euro 2016 campaign off to the best possible start with a fine 2-0 victory over Austria in Bordeaux. Their second match against Iceland wasn’t quite so straightforward however. Gylfi Sigurdsson converted a first half penalty after pyjama-clad keeper Gabor Kiraly had first dropped the ball and then fouled his man in a bid to retrieve the it. In truth Iceland created the better chances throughout the game, and when Hungary equalised late on it was slightly harsh on chums from the North.
With qualification already sealed you feel as though Hungary have already exceeded expectation in Euro 2016. Whether the motivation will still be there to push on again and try to defeat Portugal in this one is questionable. Also in the mix is the fact that finishing 3rd in the group as one of the 4 best placed runners up may actually be preferable to finishing 2nd and facing a match against England. By the time they kick off, Hungary should know the permutations and can approach the match accordingly – it could turn out that a loss isn’t the worst result in the world!
- Portugal to win @
- Portugal to be winning at Half Time and Full Time @
- Portugal to win 2-0 @
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