Frustrating Ronaldo delights Iceland’s hero goalie


Saint-Étienne (France) (AFP) – Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson was on cloud nine after stopping Cristiano Ronaldo from making history as the Atlantic island minnows held Portugal to a 1-1 draw on their Euro 2016 debut.

The Real Madrid ace had ten shots on goal in Saint Etienne but failed to become the first man to score in four European Championships as he was frustrated by Iceland’s dogged defence and a great display from Halldorsson.

“I feel great, we showed a lot of character by getting a point,” said Halldorsson as Portugal had 24 shots on goal, while Iceland converted one of their four.

“We were playing a really good team and the best player in the world. The last 35 minutes were really long after we’d equalised.”

The 31-year-old Ronaldo equalled Luis Figo’s record number of caps with both the Portugal legends now on 127 appearances.

Group F favourites Portugal are now under pressure in their second game against Austria, who earlier lost their opener 2-0 to Hungary in the other pool match in Bordeaux.

But stopping superstar Ronaldo was a dream come true for Iceland’s burly shot-stopper, who plies his trade for Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt, and had a great night between the posts.  

A superb finish by Nani gave Ronaldo’s Portugal the lead before Iceland’s industrious midfielder Birkir Bjarnason levelled for the Scandinavian minnows in Saint Etienne.

“We managed to do what we’re best at doing, which is working together and closing the space.

“I’m touched to have experienced this moment with these incredible fans behind us.

“We can’t afford to have our heads in the clouds after this result, we have to get our feet back on the ground and think of Hungary.”

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