Portugal 1 - 1 Iceland: Match report, result Group F Euro 2016
Iceland hold on for a historic draw, frustrating Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint Etienne.
Match Report: Portugal 1 - 1 Iceland
Portugal may have had 70% of the possession and played some very fluent football at times, but Iceland stayed in the match, defended for their lives and took their chance when it came.
Nani put the favourites ahead on 31' and Portugal looked like they might run away with it, but resolute defending and an a little luck saw the smallest country in the tournament ever to score a goal, score a goal, Thor Bjarnason of Iceland causing an eruption among his countrymen with a fine volleyed finish at the back post.
Cristiano Ronaldo huffed and puffed but couldn't be the hero at the death again, with two free-kicks blocked out before the final whistle.
Here's how it happened:
Full-Time: Iceland make history with their first goal and their first point at a major international tournament, Portugal leave disappointed, having dominated the game but failed to make their superiority count.
Min 95: Handball! Another free! Ronaldo steps up again... And hits the wall again.. It's all over!
Min 93: Sanches bringsthe ball forward and Portugal win a free kick 35 yards out, can he??
Min 92: One min left, Queresma wins a free kick after a nice sombrero, six Portuguese in the box but the free is too short and cleared. The Iceland fans are dancing already..
Min 89: Renato Sanches pumps one into the box, Ronaldo leaps and is above Halldorsson's hands, but he can't direct it on goal. Should have been a corner, referee calls it a goal kick.
Min 87: Iceland have a chance now! End to end stuff, Rui Patrício palms a powerful shot upwards, either side could win this now...
Min 86: Ronaldo!! What a chance! Nani put it on his head, but his effort was straight at Halldorsson.
Min 84: With Portugal pushing hard for the winner, Finnbogason gets a glimpse on a break, but runs it out of play.
Min 82: Free-kick for Portugal, Ronaldo huffs and puffs and pulls up his shorts so we can see his thighs, it's deflected wide, the corner is attacked by Pepe but flies over.
Min 80: Ten minutes to go, Portugal on the charge again, Sanches dinks a lovely-looking ball for Ronaldo but he's offside.
Min 78: Renato Sanches carries the ball from his own box, but his pass is tipped, André Gomes rescues the moved and Vierinha gets a deflected effort on target.. Corner... Cleared.
Min 77: Nani gets in the way of a goal-bound effort from his own teammate, Portugal getting a bit frustrated.
Min 75: Uyyy yuy yuy... Bodvarsson heads a long throw across the goal sending Portuguese hearts racing, but no-one's there to get the vital touch.
Min 73: Ronaldo receives the ball on the right and has nothing else in his head but to race into space and smash it goalwards, it's high. Very high.
Min 71: Renato Sanches is on.. A Portuguese free-kick is headed by Nani but brushes by the post, the wrong side unfortunately for him..
Min 70: Iceland win the ball at right-back and boom it up as far as they can, straight to Rui Patrício.
Min 68: Ronaldo runs at the Icelandic defence again, and is stopped without too much difficulty again, Pepe is down and rolling around, but there's nothing new about that, is there.. He'll be grand.
Min 66: André Gomes pops up on the right, fed by Ronaldo who's dropped deep to try and make something happen, the cross doesn't come off but Iceland's goal has stirred the Portuguese.
Min 63: Vierinha is unleashed on the right this time, his cross causes chaos with Nani making that run across the defenders again, Icelandic bodies fly through the air as they fling themselves at the ball and Halldorsson ends up holding it close.
Min 62: Renato Sanches is among the Portuguese subs warming up, will the promising youngster get his chance?
Min 60: The Icelandic fans are loving this, that was an historic goal, their first in this European competition. Meanwhile, Portugal pepper their goal.
Min 57: Ronaldo throws a strop as his teammates don't do it the way he wants, an aimless one lands aimlessy into the Icelandic clutch. Come on, pass it about, keep it, gestures Ronaldo. Then he gets the ball and shoots when André Gomes was in a much better position. The shot's blocked easily.
Min 55: Santos the Portuguese manager is on his feet and looking a bit glum, but maybe he just has one of those faces.
Min 54: Portugal 1 - 1 Iceland
Min 51: With Portugal still complaining to the referee about the free-kick that Gomes didn't get, Iceland continued playing the game and a cross from the right found Thor Bjarnason at the back post who hammered it home.
Min 51: Gooooooooooooooooolll!!! Iceland draw level! Bjarnason volleys in at the back post sending the Icelandic hordes into raptures!!
Min 50: André Gomes on the ball again, links with Ronaldo and claims a foul that doesn't come..
Min 47: Cristiano Ronaldo has the first chance to stretch the Portuguese lead, a defensive header drops to him on the half-volley outside the box but he ankles it wide left-footed and smiles wrly.
Min 46: Portugal get us underway, let's hope the second-half is as good as the first.
Portugal really took control of this game after the gunpowder opening dried up and things calmed down, André Gomes and Vierinha have impressed and it's definetly not just all about Ronaldo. Nani should have opened the scoring after the Real Madrid man put it on a plate for him in the 22nd minute, but he made up for it with a tidy finish from Gomes' cross.
Iceland threatened mainly from the left where Sigurdsson found some space early and had a chance to score, but they haven't managed to keep possession and create anything substantial. Set-pieces, long-throws or a long-ball looks like their best hope, but at 1-0 they'll still believe..
Min 46: And that's the first half. A very entertaining match with both teams really going for it. Portugal have been superior, but Iceland have had chances, particularly Sigurdsson in the 4th minute.
Min 43: Brilliant control from André Gomes on the edge of the box, he's now plying his trade on the left having switched from the right, great fluency from Portugal both tactically and positionally, moving the ball about with real fluidity.. The end product was a cross that was just too long for Ronaldo.
Min 41: Portugal have had 63% of the possession. It's Portugal 1 - 0 Iceland.
Min 39: Portugal counter Iceland's counter, six players race forward, one of them is Pepe, Nani crosses for Cristiano but Halldorsson rises highest. Pepe races back.
Min 36: Saevarsson's long throw is one Icelandic weapon, this one wins a corner despite Portuguese protests, Iceland pressing for the equalizer, but without any real coherence.
Min 35: Portugal threaten again, a corner is cleared and Iceland counter..
Min 31: Vierinha released André Gomes on the right and his low cross found Nani's run across the defence perfectly.. A very well-worked goal, Portugal have been excellent so far, a high-intensity approach that's paid off.
Min 31: GOOOOooooooooooooooooooooolll..... Nani! Portugal 1 up!
Min 30: Iceland's 4-4-2 is as rigid as a table football setup, when Portugal sprawl forward the islanders get compact.
Min 29: Iceland foray forward but it's another brilliant tackle from Carvalho that wins possession back for his team. How many times has that been said in commentary over the course of his career...
Min 28: It's all Portugal.
Min 25: Ronaldo heads just wide, and Halldorsson then again thwarts Portugal as Ronaldo swings at air after a piercing ball over the top, the bounce nearly takes it in, but Halldorsson claws it away. Closer.
Min 22: Naniii!!! Should have been 1 - 0, brilliant skills from Ronaldo and a cross that Nani really has to head home, but Halldorsson sticks out a last-gasp left foot that ends exactly where the ball was. Great save in the end..
Min 19: Uyyy.. Vierinha steps inside from that left wing sliding past two Icelanders and cracks a spinning, swerving left-footer goalwards. Too hot for Halldorsson to handle, but he punches clear..
Min 18: Carvalho with a booming challenge on the half-way line taking man, ball and all, great effort from the 38 year-old.
Min 16: Cristiano gets on the ball, turns, turns again, then has his pass cut out. Portugal securing more possession now and pushing Iceland back.
Min 12: Portugal trying to control the game a little more, Carvalho and Moutinho spraying it around, but their advance is halted by a well-constructed icey wall.
Min 9: Great open game here, both sides going for it, the Icelandic captain Gunardsson keeps possession well, only for his defensive partner to hoof it forward. The forwards didn't like that.
Min 7: Iceland are through again, Sigurdsson again providing the movement on the left, but he's just offside.
Min 5: Electric opening. A Portuguese free-kick is headed goalwards by Moutinho, then a corner pings about dangerously in the Iceland box.
Min 4: Ufff!! Sigurdsson attacks the Portuguese down the left, menaces his way into the box and cracks it goalwards, Rui Patrício stops it.. Twice.
Min 2: The first thing Cristiano Ronaldo does is lose the ball, the Icelanders love it, then they shut up a bit as Nani nearly finds a way through their defence.
Min 1: Iceland kick off in all-white playing from right to left.
The Portuguese anthem is a much livelier march, a portent of what's to come?
The Iceland anthem rings out proudly, a hypnotic choiry affair that would melt the most frozen of hearts, great support here today with 8.5% of the Icelandic population present in France.
Welcome to our preview ahead of the live coverage of Portugal vs Iceland as both sides get their Group F Euro 2016 campaign underway this evening at 2100 (CET) from the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Étienne.
Preview: Portugal - Iceland: Euro 2016
Saint Etienne is the setting as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and tournament debutantes Iceland get their respective campaigns under way tonight..
One of the perennial underachievers at every European championship start their Euro 2016 France adventure this evening.
Fernando Santos has a well balanced side with a healthy mix of experienced players with new emerging talent blending to suggest that this Portugal side could go far in the competition this year.
Cristiano Ronaldo is anxious to drive his Portugal side to the latter stages of the tournament and in turn banish the ghosts of previous tournament failures. Rui Patricio, Pepe, Moutinho, Nani, Quaresma and Renato Sanches will all be called on as key supporting talents for the player from Madiera.
The Icelandic team make their debut at a major competition in Saint Etienne this evening. Qualifying for France 2016 is payback for the hard work and surprise results forged by this young squad who finished ahead of both Holland and Turkey in their qualifying group.
Veteran Swede and national hero in Iceland Lars Lagerback has been instrumental in bring through a talented young squad with many of the players who qualified for the U-21 European Championship in 2011 with Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Sigthorsson and Finnbogason being the main threats for the Group F rival.
Iceland: Halidorsson; Saevarsson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Skulason; Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson; Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson.
Portugal: Rui Patrício; Vieirinha, Pepe, Carvalho, Guerreiro; Danilo, Moutinho, João Mário, André Gomes; Nani and Ronaldo.
Live coverage of Portugal vs Iceland:
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