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Iceland hold Portugal to shock draw

Associated Press Associated Press 14/06/2016 By Samuel Petrequin

Record-equaling Cristiano Ronaldo struggled to hide his frustrations as Iceland shocked Portugal with a 1-1 draw in the tiny Scandinavian nation's European Championships debut.

Iceland was second best most of the Group F game and trailed to a first half strike by Nani, but they took advantage of Portugal's profligacy in front of goal with Birkir Bjarnason's strike earning a share of the spoils.

The efforts of the smallest nation ever to play at a European Championship - with a population of 330,000 - did little to impress Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo.

"Iceland did not try nothing, they just defend, defend, defend and play the counterattack," Ronaldo said.

"They had two chances and they scored one goal. It was a lucky night for them."

Iceland managed only four shots to Portugal's 25, Bjarnason slotting home the equaliser in the 50th minute with a curled volley at the far post against the run of the play, moments after Ronaldo missed a chance to make it 2-0 when he shot wide.

"We should have scored more goals, there is no secret about that," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

"We are to blame for that. Then there was this move. We knew they could play long balls and that they had good crossers. They were very pragmatic."

Iceland had already defied the odds just to reach the tournament by finishing second in their qualifying group - which included two wins over the highly-fancied Netherlands outfit.

"So many things are happening for the first time to Iceland," the team's co-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said.

"This is another first-time achievement. It was fantastic to play here. It was like playing at home, the fans were fantastic."

Nani put Portugal in front with a clinical finish from close range on a day when Ronaldo equaled Luis Figo's Portugal record of 127 caps - but lacked his usual composure and accuracy.

"It's down to teamwork," Hallgrimsson said of Iceland's success against the Real Madrid star.

"You can't put one player to stop a guy like Ronaldo. It has to be a team effort, closing the areas. There were a lot of players responsible for Ronaldo tonight. We did a really good job, well done to the lads."

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