An extraordinary game in Budapest ended all square as France and Portugal both qualified for the round-of-16 after a match that saw three penalties given and scored.
The first of the spot-kicks came when Hugo Lloris raced off his line to punch a cross clear, but caught Danilo first. The penalty was given, France argued, but VAR agreed and Cristiano Ronaldo converted from the spot.
But the hard feelings fell the other way on the cusp of half-time when it was adjudged that Nelson Semedo had halted an off-the-ball run of Kylian Mbappe in the box, with the decision again allowed to stand and Karim Benzema converted from the spot.
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Benzema bagged his second of the night shortly after the restart, beating the offside trap and tucking a shot past Rui Patricio, with an offside flag being overruled by the video assistants.
Yet the drama, and involvement of the officials, was not over. And referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz had one last big decision up his sleeve, pointing to the spot for a third time as a cross cannoned into the arm of an unfortunate Jules Kounde.
And Ronaldo scored from the spot to take his tournament tally up to five and keep Portugal in the competition.
France top the group and will play Switzerland in the round-of-16, while Portugal finish third in Group F and qualify as one of the four best third-place sides.
Cristiano Ronaldo and his compatriots will play Belgium next up, while Germany are the other team to qualify from Group F. They will play England at Wembley on 29 June.
Talking Point – VAR operates with the lightest of touches
It’s arguable that all three penalties were a tad harsh, and certainly all three could have been overturned by the video assistants (and at least one maybe would have been in the Premier League).
But it’s been noticeable throughout the tournament to-date that it needs to be an absolute stinker of a decision for VAR to overrule the on-pitch officials. And, in truth, that’s how the technology should work isn’t it?
Man of the Match – Paul Pogba (France)
The Manchester United midfielder was majestic at times, creating almost everything good for France, including Benzema's goal - the only one of the game from open play.
Pogba was pinging passes around from deep throughout and very nearly bagged himself a goal with a wonderful hit from range, that was outstandingly saved.
Portugal: Patrício 8; Semedo 6, Pepe 6, Dias 6, Guerreiro 6; Moutinho 7, Danilo 6; Bernardo Silva 7, Renato Sanches 7; Diogo Jota 6, Cristiano Ronaldo 7. Subs: Palhinha 7, Fernandes 6, Neves 6, Dalot 6, Oliveira 6
France: Lloris 6; Koundé 6, Varane 7, Kimpembe 6, L.Hernández 5; Kanté 8, Tolisso 6, Pogba 8; Griezmann 7, Mbappé 7, Benzema 7. Subs: Digne 5, Coman 6, Sissoko 6
Cristiano Ronaldo trifft zum zweiten Mal per Elfmeter für Portugal
Image credit: Getty Images
16’ – Huge chance for Mbappe as he bursts in behind, beats the offside trap, and looks to curl a shot into the far top corner. But it’s well saved by the keeper.
27’ – PENALTY! Lloris comes out to punch clear and clatters into Danilo. The referee clearly thinks he didn't get to the ball in time and points straight to the spot. VAR will check this of course...
30’ GOAL! Cristiano Ronaldo scores from the spot. 1-0 Portugal!
45’ – PENALTY! Oh my, it’s another spot-kick. Portugal are absolutely furious as Mbappe is adjudged to have been brought down off the ball by Semedo.
45’ GOAL! – Benzema scores from the spot and we're all square. 1-1!
48’ GOAL! – It's another for Benzema! He makes a terrific run in behind and finishes with aplomb. The flag initially goes up, but VAR checks it and the decision is overturned. 2-1!
58’ – PENALTY! It’s yet another spot-kick, and the decision stands for handball against Kounde. Ronaldo from the spot again…
60’ GOAL! – What a bizarre game this is, but Ronaldo makes no mistake with the chance and we're all square. 2-2!
67’ – Amazing! Pogba forces an absolute blinder of a save out of Patricio on to the woodwork, and the keeper gets straight back up to keep out the follow up. World-class football all round.
Portugal stood in all four ‘as it stands’ positions in Group F over the course of the game.
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