Portugal 1-1 Iceland, Group F
Portugal were held to a draw by Iceland in their Group F clash, as they started their Euro 2016 campaign in disappointing fashion.
Nani gave the Portuguese a deserved lead after 31 minutes, but five minutes into the second half, Birkir Bjarnason pounced to give the tournament debutants their first ever goal in a major tournament.
All eyes pre-match were on Cristiano Ronaldo, but he failed to impress as Portugal wasted chance after chance to secure the win.
Iceland almost took a shock lead after just three minutes. Some good work on the left found Gylfi Sigurdsson, but his shot was straight at Rui Patricio and the follow up was weak and easily gathered by the Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper.
Chances came at a premium during the early stages, with Vierinha testing Hannes Halldorsson from range, before the Icelandic ‘keeper made a terrific save from Nani.
Following a wonderful ball in from Ronaldo, the Fenerbahce winger headed the ball straight at the diving Halldorsson, when it looked easier to score.
But Fernando Santos’ men took the lead just after the half-hour mark. After some neat build up play on the right hand side, Andre Gomes slid the ball across the area and Nani was there at the near post to finish cooly.
A piece of history was achieved when Iceland equalised in the 50th minute. A wonderful left-footed cross from Johann Gudmundsson was finished sublimely first time by Bjarnason, helped by some suspect Portuguese defending.
It was one way traffic for the second half after that, Gomes seeing his smart shot saved by Halldorsson.
Nani nearly added a second with a deft header from Raphael Guerreiro’s free-kick, but it drifted just wide of the post.
Ricardo Quaresma was brought on for Joao Mario in the hope of finding a winner, and his deflected shot was turned away at the near post by Halldorsson.
Ronaldo – equalling Luis Figo’s caps record of 127 – saw an ambitious 35-yard free-kick deflected over the bar, before Pepe narrowly headed Quaresma’s corner over the crossbar.
Portugal’s main man should have won the contest with five minutes remaining. Nani’s right wing cross was attacked by Ronaldo, but his header from six yards was straight at the Icelandic ‘keeper.
With the 2004 finalists pressing for a winner at one end, they were nearly caught out at the other. Substitute Alfred Finbogasson made some space for himself on the edge of the area, but his left footed effort was straight at Patricio.