19 Jun 2016

Ronaldo's 79th minute penalty hits the post

11:09 am on 19 June 2016

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Portugal drew 0-0 with Austria at the European football championships in Paris.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during the UEFA Euro 2016 group stage match between the Portuguese and Austrian national teams. Vitaliy Belousov/Sputnik 
Vitaliy Belousov / Sputnik

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during the Euro 2016 group match against Austria Photo: AFP

In the day's other games in France, Hungary scored late to draw 1-1 with Iceland in Marseille, after Belgium thrashed Ireland 3-0 in Bordeaux.

Ronaldo's second-half penalty miss came before he had a late headed goal disallowed for offside, as Portugal's future at Euro 2016 looked in jeopardy.

He won his 128th cap to break the record of Luis Figo, who was watching from the stands, but his landmark occasion turned into a night of torment for the Real Madrid luminary.

Ronaldo fired his 79th minute spot kick against the post - the fourth penalty he has missed in his last five for club and country - having already squandered several chances in an entertaining game at the Parc des Princes.

Six minutes later he was given offside after planting a precise header into the net.

Austrians floundering

Hailed as potentially tough opponents after an impressive qualifying campaign, Austria, ranked 10th in the world, again failed to live up to expectations after a 2-0 defeat by Hungary in their opener.

Hungary top Group F with four points after snatching a 1-1 draw against Iceland, who are level with Portugal on two points and ahead of Austria on one.

Portugal, who were knocked out in the first round at the 2014 World Cup, face a tense final match against Hungary while Austria will play Iceland on Thursday.

Asked about Ronaldo, Portugal coach Fernando Santos snapped.

"I understand you and don't talk to you about Cristiano," he told a news conference.

"Of course we're going through a tough time but we need to switch back immediately and can't wallow in our own misery. The next match is a final for us."

"We faced a very strong Portuguese team but we ran a lot and we fought hard," said Austria coach Marcel Koller.

1-1 draw breaks Icelanders' hearts

Rarely can two 1-1 draws have stirred such conflicting emotions in a football team.

Just four days ago, Iceland's players were floating on air after holding Portugal on their major championship debut.

Yet on Sunday, those same men ended slumped on the turf in misery, having seen a landmark victory snatched from them by Hungary.

Disappointed Iceland players after the 1-1 draw at Euro 2016 with Hungary. Burak Akbulut / Anadolu Agency 

Disappointed Iceland players after the 1-1 draw with Hungary Photo: AFP

Iceland had been on course for a famous win after Gylfi Sigurdsson's 39th-minute penalty, only for Birkir Saevarsson to knock the ball into his own net two minutes from the end of the Group F clash.

"Oh yes, very different," sighed co-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, when asked about the feelings after the two matches.

"We were happy with a point against Portugal but really, really disappointed with a draw today. The dressing room was silent after the game."

Man of the match Kolbeinn Sigthorsson agreed: "It's quite a big loss for us, this draw... It absolutely feels like a lost game but we are still unbeaten so we can still be positive and go in the last match with full confidence."

Italy top group

Italy secured first place in Group E when Belgium thrashed Ireland 3-0, meaning that Antonio Conte's side cannot be caught in top spot and will face Group D's runner-up in Paris on June 27 in the last 16.

The Irish team's manager Martin O'Neill said they could have no complaints about losing 3-0 to the talented Belgians in their second group match.

Ireland became only the second team so far at this year's finals to lose by more than two goals, after Turkey's 3-0 loss to holders Spain on Saturday, and must beat group winners Italy on Thursday to have any chance of qualifying for the last 16.

"Overall, we were beaten by a better team and one as talented as any in the competition," O'Neill told a news conference. "We have to take our medicine."

"But there are two ways of looking at it now. We can feel very sorry for ourselves and say it's game over, or take some self-confidence from the way we played three or four days ago against Sweden."

The message from O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane before Wednesday will be that the team showed enough ability in the 1-1 draw with the Swedes to get the win they need over Italy, whose coach Conte has said he will rest several players.