Portugal 0-0 Austria
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo squandered a number of chances tonight including a penalty as his side were held to a 0-0 draw by Austria in the Parc des Prince this evening.
The game was mostly one-way traffic, although Austria passed up a glorious early opportunity when Martin Harnik headed wide in the third minute. Portugal then took charge and carved out numerous chances. A miscued clearance by Stefan Ilsanker looped into Nani’s path but the Portugal forward was unable to get enough power and direction on his header. Nani created another chance himself after skipping past Sebastian Prodl but Almer blocked and then saved Vieirinha’s follow-up. Uncertainty crept in at the back for Austria with Martin Hinteregger placing Almer under pressure with short with a backpass that resulted in the ball being blasted back at him by the goalkeeper, at the cost of a corner.
Ronaldo seemed certain to score after a slick move involving Nani and Raphael Guerriero but he remarkably fired wide from close range. Nani then headed against the post from a short corner and Joao Moutinho blasted over before Ronaldo shot at Almer. Austria finally got some respite late in the first half and Pepe was booked for nasty dive at David Alaba just outside the area, on the right flank. Alaba whipped in a dangerous free-kick but Vieirinha did well to head away at the far post.
Austria threatened again after the restart but Rui Patricio saved well from Ilsanker’s powerful strike. Ronaldo hit an even better shot at the other end but Almer was equal to it, as he was to his header from the resulting corner. Ronaldo was out of luck again when he sent a free-kick over the bar but worse was to follow for him after he was awarded a penalty following an off-the-ball tussle with Hinteregger late on. Ronaldo stepped up to take the spot-kick and struck it confidently, but fired it against the upright after going to Almer’s right. He thought he had redeemed himself five minutes from time as he rose superbly to head home a free-kick but the flag was raised. Once again Portugal’s main man failed to deliver the goods when his side needed it the most.
Portugal sit in joint second in Group F with Iceland who both have two points while Hungary sit top with four.
Man of the Match – João Moutinho.
- Joao Mario replaces Ricardo Quaresma 71 mins
- Eder replaces Andre Gomes 83 mins
- Rafa Silva replaces Nani 89 mins
- Alessandro Schoepf replaces David Alaba 65 mins
- Lukas Hinterseer replaces Marcel Sabitzer 85 mins
- Kevin Wimmer replaces Stefan Ilsanker 87 mins