After 11 games of Euro 2016 it was finally Cristiano Ronaldo‘s time to take centre stage, but the Real Madrid star failed to inspire his team as Portugal drew 1-1 with a resolute Iceland side.
The captain was off his usual all-action self, as Luis Nani’s tap-in was cancelled out by Birkir Bjarnson’s volley to leave Portugal with just a point from their Group F opener.
Ronaldo had two headed opportunities, but he couldn’t induce that oh-so- familiar bulge of the net as he glanced wide before nodding a weak attempt straight at the goalkeeper in the closing minutes.
Playing up front alongside Nani in a 4-3-1-2 formation in Saint-Etienne it looked to be going to plan early on as Ronaldo set up his strike partner with a pin-point cross, but Nani headed too close to goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.But the 31-year-old looked out of sorts in front of goal, with his failure to latch onto a ball over the top indicative of his struggles, with his frustration showing itself on a few occasions.
Nani tapped Portugal in front, but Ronaldo, in pursuit of a record goal in his fourth consecutive European Championships, blasted a free-kick into the wall after constantly being crowded out by the defence.
His profilgacy in front of goal cost Fernando Santos’s side as a defensive lapse allowed Bjarnson to volley in Iceland’s first ever goal at a major tournament.
Ronaldo’s failure to score means Zlatan Ibrahimovic can now complete the record of becoming the first player to score in four European Championships before him when Sweden take on Italy in Toulouse on June 17.
After Hungary’s surprise 2-0 win over Austria earlier, Group F is now open with Portugal likely to need results in their next two games to finish top of the group.
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