Ronaldo on song as Portugal, Iceland advance to last 16

Portugal, Iceland, Belgium and Ireland move into the last-16 round of the Euro 2016 sending last-gasp Turkey crashing out.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Nani and Joao Mario after scoring their second goal after scoring his second goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo finally grabbed the headlines for all the right reasons as Portugal booked a place in the last-16 stage of Euro 2016 with a 3-3 draw against a spirited Hungary side on Wednesday.

Ronaldo, who threw a reporter's microphone into a lake when approached during a pre-match team walk, banished all doubts about his ability to galvanize an underachieving Portuguese side with a stunning rescue effort. 

Spurred on by the negative press and long-time rival Lionel Messi's magic in the Copa America, Ronaldo scored twice on a night Portugal trailed surprise package Hungary for a major part of the game.

Hungary were in the lead early, courtesy Zoltan Gera's strike, before Ronaldo slipped in a pass to Nani to equalise before half-time.

Hungary captain Balazs Dzsudzsak then scored in the 47th and 55th minute to put Portugal on the brink of an early exit. But it was destined to be Ronaldo's night as the three-time World Player of the Year responded with a bit of trademark brilliance.

A sumptuous backheel and a towering header meant Ronaldo moved within a goal of Michel Platini's record mark of nine goals in Euro finals. In the process, the 31-year-old became the first player to score in four European Championships.

"It was an insane match," Ronaldo said after a record 17 appearances in the tournament.

"Of course, we wanted to win and qualify in first place, but the main thing is we're through."

The result, however, did not hurt Hungary much as they topped Group F to also progress to the last-16.

Iceland's Arnor Ingvi Traustason celebrates with Birkir Bjarnason after scoring his team's second goal.

Debutants Iceland, Belgium and Republic of Ireland also moved to the knockout stage.

Iceland will take on England in Nice after their first ever win in major finals.

"I've always supported England at big international tournaments when we haven't been playing," said Iceland co-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson.

"It's a dream come true, but we go into the game to get a result. We believe in our ability."

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.

Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic walks off the pitch to a standing ovation.

Farewell Zlatan

The imperious Italian side also suffered an upset at the hands of Ireland with Robbie Brady's header five minutes from time being the decisive goal of the match in Lille.

With the win, the Irish ended Italy's 100 percent record at the tournament and booked a date with hosts France in the knockout stage.

It was Ireland's first win over Italy in a competitive match since the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

But Martin O'Neill's men had looked set to be denied by a combination of Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu and Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan.

Sirigu, standing in for Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal, made a superb save to deny Daryl Murphy, while Hategan twice waved away Irish penalty appeals in the first-half.

However, Sirigu was at fault as Brady nipped in ahead of the Paris Saint-Germain 'keeper to head into an empty net for the winner.

There was no fairytale ending for another superstar of football, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as Sweden bowed out of the tournament after their 1-0 loss to Belgium.

Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy celebrates after his team defeated Italy.

Ibrahimovic alluded to his rags to riches story brought up in a tough district in Malmo as he said good-bye.

"It's a nice story because where I came from, a little..what people call the ghetto, and I made that country my country."

"I hope we can find another player, not a Zlatan as I don't think in a small country like Sweden you can find someone like that, he's really unique," said Sweden boss Erik Hamren.

Ibrahimovic did have the ball in the net midway through the second-half against the star-studded Belgians, but the goal was ruled out for a foul by Marcus Berg in the build-up.

Belgium had a series of chances to kill the game off with Romelu Lukaku particularly profligate.

With six minutes remaining, Radja Nainggolan's arrowed drive into the far corner ended Swedish hopes to set up a last 16 clash with Hungary.

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

TRTWorld and agencies