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Portugal vs Iceland a few quick thoughts

  • Iceland capped off their debut performance in a major tournament with a historic point after holding Portugal to a Draw in St Etienne last night
  • They may be the smallest nation in the competition but you would have never guessed that after their showing against Cristiano Ronaldo and company
  • Ronaldo would go on to have a frustrating evening as he failed in his quest to be the first person to score in four different European Championships
  • It was arguably his ex Manchester United team mate Nani who had the better of Portugal’s chances
  • But it was Iceland who nearly got off to a dream start with Fulfill Sigurdsson calling Rui Patricio into action not once but twice early on
  • That certainly woke Portugal up and then they started to impose themselves on the game
  • Iceland Keeper Halldorson was the busier of the two men between the sticks and his excellent save from Nani’s close range header kept the game scoreless
  • But not long after Nani was to get on the scoresheet
  • He was on hand to knock home a right wing cross on the 31 minutes to put Portugal ahead
  • But even after going behind Iceland’s heads did not drop
  • After going into the break at 1-0 down they were still very much in this game and just five minutes after the restart they got their just rewards
  • Once again it was a cross from the right hand side but this time around it was Birkir Bjarnason who was left unmarked in the area
  • He had enough time and space to send a powerful volley past the helpless Rui Patricio to level the scores at 1-1
  • After the equaliser the game became scrappy in parts. Perhaps born out of frustration but also the fact that Pepe was on the pitch
  • For all his defensive talents he is an incredibly unlikeable player
  • The last part of the game become Ronaldo’s personal battle against a resolute Icelandic back line
  • A battle that Ronaldo was failing to win
  • He was reduced to some mistimed headers and opportunistic free kicks as Iceland held out for a well earned draw
  • That said it was nothing short of what they deserved and with Hungary beating Austria in the earlier game this group is very much on it’s head
  • A frustrating night for Portugal and once again questions will be asked as to whether or not they are a one team. When that one man under performs then it’s always going to be more difficult to get a result
  • Once again Portugal flatter to deceive at a major international tournament
  • They face Austria next while Iceland face group toppers Hungary
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