By Can Erozden
ANKARA (AA) – France and Portugal booked their places in the UEFA Euro 2020 Round of 16 on Wednesday after a 2-2 draw in a thrilling Group F match.
In the 16th minute, French star Kylian Mbappe missed a one-on-one chance against Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio at the Puskas Arena in Budapest as Patricio saved it.
Portugal were awarded a penalty in the 27th minute as French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris fouled Danilo on a mistimed tackle.
Lloris rushed to punch the ball in the air but elbowed the Portuguese midfielder and was booked after his foul.
Cristiano Ronaldo successfully converted the penalty, with his firm shot beating Lloris, and Portugal took a 1-0 lead.
Near the end of the first half, a penalty was awarded to France as Mbappe was fouled by Portuguese right back Nelson Semedo.
French forward Karim Benzema found the net via a penalty kick as France equalized 1-1.
Benzema also scored for France in the 47th minute of the second half, finishing in the area after Paul Pogba's assist and making it 2-1.
The goal was valid after a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) review.
In the 59th minute, the referee showed the penalty spot for Portugal again as French defender Jules Kounde handballed in the box.
Ronaldo scored to make it 2-2.
In the 68th minute, Pogba's effort outside the box was parried by Patricio, and then the ball hit the woodwork.
The game in Budapest ended 2-2, so both teams qualified for the knockout stage.
"France have a 100% winning record when Benzema has scored for Les Bleus (W22)," the Euro 2020 said on Twitter, but it was not the case this time.
Benzema was named the man of the match.
France won Group F with five points.
Second-place Germany qualified for the last 16 with four points after three matches.
Portugal racked up four points to be among the best third-placed teams, so they also clinched the Round of 16 berth.
Hungary had two points to be eliminated from the Euro 2020.
The Round of 16 pairings in the Euro 2020 were also unveiled. The knockout stage will start on Saturday, June 26.
– Ronaldo joins Ali Daei in international goals-scoring record
Portuguese superstar Ronaldo equaled the record for the most international goals on Wednesday.
The record belonged to former Iran forward Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for his nation between 1993 and 2006.
Ronaldo reached him after his second goal against France.
– Euro 2020 last 16 as follows:
Wales – Denmark
Italy – Austria
Netherlands – Czech Republic
Belgium – Portugal
Croatia – Spain
France – Switzerland
England – Germany
Sweden – Ukraine