IF at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again. That was the case for Portugal and their most iconic figure as Cristiano Ronaldo rose to the occasion and inspired the defending champions to another European Championship win.

Victory over Hungary here will not be Portugal’s most significant success of this tournament. Failure to claim all three points could have been costly, though, as they seek to emerge from a section which also includes France and Germany.

A deflected strike from Raphael Guerreiro and a Ronaldo penalty – which earned the captain another place in the record books as he became the record scorer in the history of the Championships – ensured Fernando Santos didn’t see his side stumble at the first hurdle. In the final seconds, Ronaldo added a shine to the scoreline that reflected the balance of play at the Puskas Arena to secure a 3-0 win.

At times here it felt as if Portugal were playing against twelve men. A crowd of 61,000 would create a cauldron of noise for this opening fixture in Group F but the passion of a support can only take a side so far and Hungary were ultimately outclassed as their spirit and their resistance was broken late on.

There was a stroke of misfortune about it as Guerreiro’s strike took a deflection off Willi Orban but Portugal will feel they deserved the break. In that moment, the upset was off the cards.

It was a case of so near yet so far for the hosts. Results of a freakish nature are only earned when a perfect defensive showing is combined with a clinical touch, though, and an Adam Szalai header in the first half was ultimately the chance that had to go in.

Szabolcs Schön did have the ball in the net with ten minutes to go but a VAR check that was a case of confirming the obvious ruled that effort out for offside. Within seconds, Portugal had the goal that for long spells they must have feared wouldn’t come as their intricate play and myriad attacking options didn’t yield results.

It was Diogo Jota, the Liverpool striker, that was the most profligate of the Portuguese forwards. Even early on, this occasion just had the look of one of those nights about it for him.

He would force Peter Gulacsi into action just five minutes in and the save from the Hungary keeper was a smart one. Jota hadn’t made the astute choice, though, and he would incur the wrath of Ronaldo, who was waiting just yards to left and would show his emotion in typically dramatic fashion the first real opportunity of the night was spurned.

Towards the end of the first half, Gulacsi would again save from Jota as he spun inside the area and directed a shot straight down the middle of the target. As he rued a poorly placed effort, Bruno Fernandes would surely have cursed the fact that Jota hadn’t allowed the ball to run as he took up a position near the penalty spot.

Those moments of inept decision making from Jota would frustrate Portugal, but Ronaldo had nobody to blame but himself as he scooped his effort high over the bar on the verge of half-time.

In the end, Ronaldo would get his goals. The first man to play in five European Championships marked the occasion by ensuring he scored in each of his finals appearances.

He would sent Gulacsi the wrong way from the penalty spot and then leave the keeper floundering on the deck as he showed neat footwork and a cool head in stoppage time to complete the scoring and take his Euros tally to 11.

In a side blessed with star names, their biggest shone brightest. Time will tell if Ronaldo can inspire his nation to another crowning moment this summer.