Euro 2016: Portugal held to 0-0 draw by Austria as Cristiano Ronaldo misses a penalty
The 31-year-old could not inspire his team to a win
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal were left frustrated once again as Portugal only managed a draw against Austrai. Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty and Nani hit the post as they missed several chances to win it.
Austria will definitely count their blessings they got something out of this game after being given the run around all game.
Portugal: Patricio, Vieirinha, Carvalho, Pepe, Guerreiro, Carvalho, Gomes, Moutinho, Quaresma, Nani, Ronaldo
Austria: Almer; Klein, Prodl, Hinteregger, Fuchs, Baumgartlinger, Ilsanker; Harnik, Alaba, Arnautovic; Sabitzer
After all the controversy surrounding the first game, Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to produce a better performance than he did against Iceland. Fernando Santos recalled Quaresma to the starting lineup. This was Ronaldo's 128th appearance for his country becoming the most capped player, overtaking Figo’s record in the process.
Austria also had a disappointing first game losing to Hungary. With the latter drawing against Iceland, Austria needed at least a point to stay alive in the group. Their big striker Marc Janko was surprisingly left out of the starting XI. Ronaldo and Nani once again started in a 4-4-2 despite Quaresma being back in the side.
Portugal waste a host of chances as Nani hits the post
Austria had the first real chance of the game. Harnik rose highest unmarked in an attempt to head a cross but his nick was not enough to direct the ball towards goal, misjudging the flight of the cross.
Portugal had the first clear-cut chance of the game in the 12th minute. Nani escaped a challenge and found himself in a one-on-one situation inside the area, but his attempt to pass it into the far corner was saved well by the keeper and eventually cleared by the defence.
Ronaldo was next to go close. Raphael Guerreiro and Nani linked up beautifully playing a slick one-two to set up Ronaldo who attempted a first-time side-footed finish only to see the ball flash just wide of the post. A miss that no one expected the great man to make.
Portugal kept creating but failed to take those chances. A corner from the left was perfect for Nani but his headed effort only struck the post, after which Moutinho fired the rebound just over the crossbar.
Austria were not one to just lie down in this game. They won a free kick on the right-hand side edge of the area. Alaba whipped it in with great pace and power and for a second it looked like it would creep into the far post only to see Vieirinha make a goal line clearance.
Ronaldo misses a penalty as Portugal are left disappointed
Austria had to do something more in the second half if they had to assert themselves in the game. They had a better start with Rui Patricio called into action. IIsanker’s hard low shot from distance forced the keeper into a smart save.
The Portuguese started to dominate things again as Ronaldo attempted one of his long range knuckleball free kicks only to see it hit the wall. His next effort was much much better, a powerful snapshot from the edge of the box as Almer just managed to tip the ball behind.
From the resulting corner, Almer denied Ronaldo again saving his leaping header from a Quaresma delivery. It looked like it was another one of those days for Ronaldo but the goalkeeper was having an absolute blinder. The Austrians kept giving free kicks away in dangerous areas but Portugal were failing to take advantage of their generosity.
Portugal finally got reward, for all their pressure as Ronaldo was fouled in the area and the referee pointed to the spot without any hesitation. The captain stepped up to take it with the team's and the nation's hopes resting on his shoulders but the fans were left in shock as his effort hit the post.
The 31-year-old thought he had redeemed himself 5 minutes before time when he headed in a free-kick only to see the linesman raise his flag for offside. That was the last real chance of the game as Austria held on for a valuable draw.
It just wasn’t Ronaldo’s day and now his team will have to win their last game of the group to ensure qualification to the next round.