Cristiano Ronaldo came to Portugal’s rescue with two penalties to cancel out a brace from France’s Karim Benzema in an enthralling 2-2 draw that sent both sides into the Euro 2020 last 16 in a frantic conclusion to Group F on Wednesday.
An anxious night for the reigning European champions saw them occupy every position in the so-called group of death at various junctures but the 36-year-old Ronaldo, so often his country’s saviour, stepped up to reach another career milestone.
He had already become the highest-ever scorer in Euro finals with his double against Hungary in the opening game and his two spot-kick conversions — in the 31st and 60th minutes — took him to 109 international goals, level with the record number scored by Iran’s Ali Daei.
“It was a fight and it wasn’t easy. We gave them the two goals from mistakes. We tried to win it,” said France manager Didier Deschamps, whose side were in danger of a last-16 clash with England at Wembley when they fell behind.
“It means we’re top and that’s the best position.”