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Portugal captain scores 108th and 109th international goals, equals Ali Daei's world record
Benzema scores twice, first tournament goals for seven years
France play Switzerland, Portugal face Belgium in last 16
The tricolor was flying, ‘Allez les Bleus’ was sung loud and proud, and you could hear the impassioned chants of La Marseillaise echoing across the nation.
Paris? Budapest’s Puskas Arena? No, the successful execution of operation ‘anyone but France’ will be most celebrated in London.
Gareth Southgate will not admit it but France and Portugal’s 2-2 draw meant his side has avoided the opponents he wanted least.
The French satisfied England’s ambitions, finishing top of the group and taking their place on the opposite side of the knockout draw. Portugal flirted with a trip to Wembley before settling for the point which guaranteed third place. How times have changed when a meeting with Germany in the last 16 is considered a favourable outcome.
After a promising start, it is an unfortunate consequence of the Uefa format that the only jeopardy by the closing stages here was probably in the England team hotel, weighing up the merits of French, Portuguese or German rivals.
What could have been the game of the tournament was reduced to walking football in a deeply unsatisfying finale after Cristiano Ronaldo’s second penalty of the night - the game’s third spot-kick - ensured both managers had everything they needed and could start giving their third-choice full-backs a run-out.
When a football match did break-out for an hour, the French were temporarily planning a trip to London and the Portuguese momentarily staring at elimination.
Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored two apiece to sort out the placings. They could have shaken hands after Portugal’s 59th-minute equaliser stopped the fun for the Hungarian spectators and neutrals.
England’s scouts should not have bothered making additional notes given the fixture bore no resemblance to what will follow in the next fortnight.
At times, the French were so erratic they looked like they preferred a Wembley date; sometimes one-paced, occasionally cumbersome and lacking concentration, often picking up unnecessary yellow cards, and generally playing like England against Scotland last week.
All the French dynamism came from Paul Pogba, who struck the bar from 20 yards and exhibited a passing repertoire for his country which is considerably more varied and accurate than for his club.
Pogba sent a couple of eye-catching, defence splitting passes to the dashing Kylian Mbappé in the first half, and claimed an assist with the pass of the night to Benzema two minutes into the second.
Other than that, the world champions’ performance was befitting of a side with nothing much to play for.
Nevertheless, for all their brilliance and all their success, is it OK to admit that this French side sometimes leaves you craving more? They possess a pragmatism which makes sense when you have the most potent counter-attacking weapon of his generation. Having played in third gear in their opening group games, it seemed they thought second would suffice here. Their best is obviously yet to come.
But even though they are world champions and tournament favourites, they are far from invulnerable. Tottenham fans will testify to that. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris may have many qualities with his athleticism and reflexes. It’s doubtful he will ever earn the nickname ‘safe hands’ or be remembered as a master of concentration.
Sometimes it seems the less Lloris has to do, the more susceptible he is. France conceded on 27 minutes because of his mistimed punch catching Danilo Pereira on the chin. The replays hinted at misfortune, but the force of the impact was reckless.
Ronaldo did the rest and the league table briefly looked terrifying for England, France dropping to the runners-up spot.
Spanish referee Antonio Lahoz took mercy on Southgate’s boys by awarding a frankly preposterous spot kick to the French just before half-time. Mbappé rushed into the penalty area and collided with Nelson Semedo, who was punished for the heinous indiscretion of tracking the runner, standing his ground, and keeping the striker on the wrong side of goal. Mbappé fell over and the video assistant referee did not overrule the referee. The fact the decision stood will raise suspicions the Uefa officials took the night off and the images were being studied at Stockley Park.
Benzema struck the equaliser from the spot.
The Real Madrid striker had more cause to thank the video assistants a minute into the second half. After Pogba sent him scampering down the right wing he cut inside and finished expertly.
The linesman’s flag cut short the celebrations. The goal check reignited them. You would have sworn you could hear the fireworks at St George’s Park.
Technological assists continued. Just before the hour, Jules Koundé handled in the penalty area and the whistle happy referee and VAR gave more momentum to Ronaldo’s pursuit of the Golden Boot.
Ronaldo has five already. Harry Kane might have to give up on adding to his collection this year.
Once level, both teams called it off and the phoney war began as news of Germany’s equaliser in Munich ensured all the fancied teams marched on in their different directions.
Group of Death? Hardly. Roll on the knockout stages and teams playing to win until the last whistle.
Good match, three penalties, one of them very soft indeed. Two outstanding midfield performances from Pogba and Sanches and the enduring brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
90+4 min POR 2 FRA 2
Germany have drawn 2-2 with Hungary and are currently in second place. A Portugal goal would make it France in second place but neither side seems too fussed about going for the winner.
90+2 min POR 2 FRA 2
Coman does Bruno Fernandes with stepovers and double lollipops and then goes down in the box after the Manchester United player kicks him across the backside and back of the leg. There will be a VAR check but the referee hasn't given it. His decision of no penalty stands.
90 min POR 2 FRA 2
Both sides happy with the draw. Fernando Santos just had the chance to throw the ball to one of his players quickly to chase victory and chose instead to let it roll away.
We'll have five minutes of injury time.
89 min POR 2 FRA 2
That's Griezmann's last touch. Moussa Sissoko replaces him.
Sergio Oliveira is also coming on ... for MOTM contender Renato Sanches.
87 min POR 2 FRA 2
Coman takes on Guerreiro, beats him and comes back from the byline to turn infield and roll a pass to the edge of the D. Griezmann meets it and blazes it miles over the bar.
86 min POR 2 FRA 2
Great dribbling from Bruno Fernandes, roasting Rabiot and flaying over a cross that deserved better.
85 min POR 2 FRA 2
Coman and Kante join forces to stop Ronaldo getting a shot away from 22 yards just as he cocked the hammer.
84 min POR 2 FRA 2
Kimpembe is booked for a filthy tackle on Ronaldo, hacking him halfway up the left leg from behind.
82 min POR 2 FRA 2
Portugal have retreated deep into a low bloc and are keeping France kettled roughly 30 yards out.
Germany have equalised which means they're now second and Portugal third.
80 min POR 2 FRA 2
If Germany equalise in the last 10 mins and this stays the same, Germany go up to second. If Germany lose but France win, Germany go through in third place. If Portugal win, France will be second, Hungary third.
79 min POR 2 FRA 2
Diogo Dalot replaces Semedo after lengthy treatment. He wanted to carry on and had played well but Pepe tells him if he's not 100 per cent he has to go and off he limps. This is Dalot's international debut.
77 min POR 2 FRA 2
Semedo hyper-extends his knee as he lands awkwardly and needs treatment.
75 min POR 2 FRA 2
Semedo blocks Griezmann's shot as all his colleagues backed off. France's movement, whirling positional changes of the front four, is beginning to cause all sorts of problems for Portugal.
75 min POR 2 FRA 2
A poor header from Ruben Dias catches Griezmann by surprise as it flies to him too quickly to trouble Rui Patricio.
73 min POR 2 FRA 2
Double Portugal sub: Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Neves replace Joao Moutinho and Bernardo.
71 min POR 2 FRA 2
Palhinha takes on a shot from 25 yards when the cross would have been a better option and spoons it over the bar.
69 min POR 2 FRA 2
Kingsley Coman came on for Tolisso while the BBC was in Munich. Kounde whips over a terrific cross that parts Griezmann's hair to the left of the penalty spot. Far more urgency to France now.
67 min POR 2 FRA 2
Rmarkable double save from Rui Patricio to save Pogba's vicious swirler from the edge of the box, pawing it to his left and then gets up to tip Greizmann's heavy follow-up on to the woodwork. Lovely footwark from Pogba to send Plahinha off for an Evening Post, dummying him to distraction.
65 min POR 2 FRA 2
The BBC has been over to Munich where two goals have swung the match from Germany moving up to second to Portugal regaining it.
62 min POR 2 FRA 2
Rabiot brings down Semedo and concedes a free-kick on the left which Bernardo balloons over the box and into touch. France off the hook.
60 min POR 2 FRA 2
A record-equalling 109th international goal as Ronaldo drives the penalty into the bottom left corner.
Portugal 2-2 France (Ronaldo pen)
Penalty for Portugal
Ronaldo's cross strikes Kounde's right hand, which is raised though he is very close to Ronaldo.
56 min POR 1 FRA 2
Portugal understandably a little dazed at the moment. They went from 1st place to fourth in four minutes straddling half-time. They need to get Renato on the ball and Bernardo running at Rabiot.
54 min POR 1 FRA 2
Rabiot replaces Digne and slots in at left-back. Bernardo must fancy his chances.
52 min POR 1 FRA 2
Lucas Digne pulls up clutching the front of his right thigh. It's completely twanged judging by his reaction and it looks like his tournament is over.
50 min POR 1 FRA 2
Ronaldo leaps like the proverbial Conor Sammon at the left post to meet Guerreiro's wonderful cross but bludgeons it wide.
48 min POR 1 FRA 2
Pogba pulls the strings with a glorious pass, perfectly weighted down the inside-right. Benzema held his run just enough and then races past Ruben Dias and, as Rui Patricio, comes out he rolls his shot into the bottom left corner.
Portugal 1 France 2 (Benzema)
Portugal 1 France 2 (Benzema)
We wait for VAR
46 min POR 1 FRA 1
Portugal kick off, attacking left to right. Hernandez had been booked and was being devoured on toast by Bernardo. Renato Sanches bursts through the left of midfield but loses the ball just when it looked like he was through to the edge of the box.
Lucas Digne replaces Hernandez for France.
Joao Palhinha replaces Danilo who was chinned by Lloris.
The two penalties
Lloris takes out Danilo:
No horse in this race but that was a very soft penalty indeed. Nonetheless, they go in level at the break which, give what's happening in Munich leaves the provisional table with France in first place and Portugal in second.
45+2 min POR 1 FRA 1
He's missed his last three for France but no mistake here, drilling it into the side netting on the left as Rui Patricio went the other way/
Portugal 1-1 France (Benzema pen)
The penalty stand
Benzema lines it up.
45+1 min POR 1 FRA 0
VAR is checking the penalty.
Mbappe is blocked by Semedo> Was it a foul? Doesn't look like it? He went with his runner and blocked him off.
44 min POR 1 FRA 0
Moutinho's free-kick strikes the wall and France clear their lines.
43 min POR 1 FRA 0
Kimpembe boots Ronaldo, who was lining him up on the right, feinting and using his shoulders to try to hide which way he might go. Excellent work from Bernardo to allow Ronaldo the run at Kimpembe.
42 min POR 1 FRA 0
Joao Moutinho smashes a shot with his laces from the edge of the D after slippery work from Bernardo to shift Varane out of the way with a shimmy and a spin. The shot is sliced horribly and wobbles alarmingly away towards the corner flag.
41 min POR 1 FRA 0
Yellow card for Griezmann for stepping on Danilo's foot as the Portugal midfielder turned away from him in the centre-circle.
40 min POR 1 FRA 0
Renato Sanches and Joao Moutinho have changed the complexion of Portugal's midfield. They're bossing it here so far. Tolisso has barely had a kick, Kante isn't his usual tenacious tiger and nothing is sticking to Benzema.
38 min POR 1 FRA 0
Varane bends a long, curling right-foot cross into the box from 40 yards out on the right. Griezmann meets it on the volley and blazes it miles over. High, wide and hideous.
37 min POR 1 FRA 0
Hernandez is not enjoying Bernardo's jinky running down the right and earns a booking for his third foul on him.
34 min POR 1 FRA 0
France, Pogba's long passes up for Mbappe apart, simply haven't clicked yet.
31 min POR 1 FRA 0
Definite pen, I thought. Danilo won the header and Lloris punched him flush on the jaw a moment afterwards. Yellow card for Lloris who begged the referee to have another look at it but VAR upheld the referee's decision.
30 min POR 1 FRA 0
Sends him the wrong way and buries it into the bottom left corner.
Portugal 1-0 France (Ronaldo pen 31)
28 min POR 0 FRA 0
We've seen the replay and I think it is a penalty. He takes out the midfielder.
Lloris goes for the free-kick and punches Danilo flush in the mooey, missing the ball. France surround the referee.
25 min POR 0 FRA 0
Some of the initial zip had gone from the match until Renato Sanches drives through the middle, loses control and as he gets his foot to it to regain the ball, Kante hits him with a late tackle. Free kick 40 yards out.
23 min POR 0 FRA 0
France enjoying a longish spell of possession, slowing the tempo down and probing up the right. Kounde, a centre-back by trade, isn't as comfortable as Pavard bombing on but the usual right-back's yellow card has earned him a rest because Deschamps doesn't want to risk a ban for the knockout stage.
20 min POR 0 FRA 0
Semedo has the beating of Hernadez tonight and looks dangerous whenever he works a triangle with Joao Moutinho and Bernardo.
Varane, who made mistakes against Hungary, gets in a tangle when he doesn't heed a call and goes to head a cross whipped in from the right, knocking it straight up and to Ronaldo who watches him like a hawk. When it drops Ronaldo thunders a volley wide of the right post. Needed to bend in but it stayed too straight.
17 min POR 0 FRA 0
Big chance for Mbappe, sent with a diagonal, in to out, to the 18-yard line by Pogba's superb pass. Borderline onside, I think, he hares away from Pepe and meets it right-footed just as it crosses the whitewash with his instep but Rui Patricio doesn't sell himself and dives to his left to beat the shot away. It was one of those areas from which Thierry Henry was lethal, cutting in off the left to bend it into the top right corner.
15 min POR 0 FRA 0
Portugal certainly the most fluent side, getting the ball forward quickly and imaginatively, using the wings and finding their combinations.
13 min POR 0 FRA 0
News from Munich where Hungary have gone one-nil up has joy cascading around the stands at the Puskas Arena here. Ronaldo leaps to meet a header 15 yards out and again makes more of it than any other human of his size could, twisting it on goal from too far behind him but without the power or precision it required because of the delivery.
11 min POR 0 FRA 0
Pogba picks up the ball 40 yards out, Benzema comes towards him to allow Mbappe spin on Pepe and hare towards the box. Pogab slides the pass down the channel but Rui Patricio again is alive to it and races off his line to gather.
9 min POR 0 FRA 0
Griezmann slides in on Diogo Jota who was dribbling down the left with his dainty feet. Looked like a foul to me - he took the ball but also flattened the man in his followthrough as he slid in. No foul, though, according to the referee.
7 min POR 0 FRA 0
France break at pace from Lloris's throw and Mbappe skitters up the left, putting Semedo on the back foot but the defender does well and Ruben Dias helps him to smother the space.
6 min POR 0 FRA 0
Ronaldo is hanging on the left wing at the moment with Bernardo through the middle but the captain qucikly breaks infield when Sanches is on the ball on the left and rises to meet his left-foot curled cross to head from 15 yards, a little loopily, down Lloris's throat.
5 min POR 0 FRA 0
Good work from Renato Sanches who does fizz dome passes around with the pace that France have lacked so far, sending Semedo down the right and then almost finding Bernardo down the inside-right before trying to trouble Lloris with a bouncing bomb of a shanked shot.
3 min POR 0 FRA 0
France again light their cigars and hog possession at the back before launching it long for Tolisso's run up the inside-left but the ball from Varane skips on and reaches Rui Patricio racing out to the edge of the area before Tolisso can get there first.
1 min POR 0 FRA 0
Ronaldo and Benzema exchange smiles at the kick-off, which Benzema takes. France are in white and attacking from left to right. Some delay before they co-ordinate with the kick-off in Munich. France work it up the left, come back and switch to the right, stroking the ball around without much urgency until they whack one long for Kounde down the right and he fires over a deep cross on the run that Portugal defend comfortably.
The players are in the tunnel
Side by side for once. Ronaldo leads out Portugal, Lloris is at the head of France.
Is eulogising Mbappe again - he is a brilliant player, sublimely slick and skilful. A Ballon d'Or winner for sure. But he hasn't been at his best in this tournament so far. It would be thrilling if he turned it on tonight, twisted Semedo's blood but this 'form is temporary, class is permanent' approach to punditry is so inane.
Shadow or accomplice?
Out of the 26
For France are Marcus Thuram, Leo Dubois and Ousmane Dembele who underwent knee surgery after suffering an injury during his appearance off the bench on Saturday.
For Portugal Goncalo Guedes, Pedro Goncalves and Nuno Mendes all miss out.
Now for those of you watching in black and white ...
Portugal Patricio; Semedo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Moutinho, Danilo, Sanches; Silva, Ronaldo, Jota.
Substitutes Lopes, Palhinha, Oliveira, Felix, R Silva, Dalot, Neves, Fernandes, A Silva, Fonte
France Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernández; Kanté, Pogba; Tolisso, Griezmann, Mbappé; Benzema.
Substitutes Mandanda, Maignan, Lenglet, Zouma, Pavard, Digne, Sissoko, Coman, Rabiot, Lemar, Ben Yeddder, Giroud.
Referee A Lahoz (Spain).
Judging by the France Football Federation line-up graphic, France are moving from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 with Mbappe on the left and Tolisso on the right of the attacking midfield trident. You'd rather be Guerreiro than Semedo ...
Two changes for Portugal
Renato Sanches and Joao Moutinho replace William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes.
Three changes for France
Both full-backs are switched and Tolisso replaces Rabiot in midfield:
Group F permutations
France are already through to the last 16. They will win the group and play a third-placed side in Bucharest on Monday if they beat Portugal or draw with them as long as Germany fail to beat Hungary.
If France lose and Hungary beat Germany, second place between France and Hungary will be decided on goal difference.
Victory over Hungary puts Germany through to the last-16 in either first or second place. If they win and France draw or lose they will top the group and travel to Romania for their first knockout game. If they draw and France lose, or if both they and Portugal lose they will qualify in third place.
Portugal go through by defeating France, or with a draw if Hungary beat Germany. Beating France would give them top spot if Germany cannot win.
Hungary need to beat Germany to go through and will finish second if they win and France win. Second place would come down to goal difference if they win and France lose. They could also finish third if they win and France and Portugal draw in Budapest.
A great day to be born in France
Let us not be so parochial of imagination, at least not yet, to treat the meeting of the world champions with the champions of Europe as if all that counted was the identity of England's last 16 opponent next Tuesday which could be any one of these two or, indeed, Hungary or Germany. This is a re-match of the 2016 final, of course, Portugal's only victory over France in 11 meetings since 1975.
Those matches included some of the best I've ever seen - the Euro 84 semi-final, Youri Djorkaeff's match in 1996 when two golden generations clashed at Parc des Princes and the golden goal semi at Euro 2000,settled by a Zinedine Zidane penalty and the rather damp squib in the 2006 World Cup semi, also won by a Zizou pen.
Odd to write of world champs but France have admitted to suffering from a lack of confidence going into this match, despite having beaten Portugal last year.
"We cannot calculate our efforts and the results to come," France's captain Hugo Lloris said. "I think that the goal is to play the match to win it in order keep up the good momentum and continue to gain confidence for the new competition that begins in the last 16."
"We had some difficulties against the Germans and the Hungarians," Lloris said. "It will be difficult. This is high-level play, whoever the opponent is."
Antoine Griezmann, who scored against Hungary on Saturday, thinks his goal will spark one from Kylian Mbappé or Karim Benzema, hopefully tonight. "He's getting chances, so a goal can come at any time," Griezmann said. "It would be worrying if he didn't get any chances, but that's not the case."
"What every forward needs at the start of the competition is to score that first goal. The sooner it happens the better for everyone," Griezmann said. "They've had chances, Kylian and Karim. As soon as one goes in then things will take care of themselves. We just have to be patient."
Cristiano Ronaldo is having no trouble scoring and shares the tournament lead with Czech Republic forward Patrik Schick. Romelu Lukaku and Gini Wijnaldum with three goals each.
Ronaldo has now scored a record 12 goals over five Euros, three more than Michel Platini. He is only two behind former Iran striker Ali Daei's overall men's record of 109 international goals.
"What he's doing is exceptional. He can score with his left foot, right foot, headers," said Griezmann, who plays at Barcelona with Lionel Messi. "We're probably not going to the see likes of Leo and him again. It's a privilege to play with them and against them."