It was a do-or-die match for Austria after their surprise loss against Hungary whereas, post a draw with Iceland, this was Portugal’s opportunity to get a grip over the group dynamics.
It was another exasperating night for Portugal as they were unable to break their scoring jinx despite creating a host of chances throughout the game. Though Austria defended well at the back, it was their lack of finish that cost them.
Just like the previous game against Iceland, Portugal began bright as in the second minute itself, Almer had to tip over Ricardo Quaresma’s corner kick.
The night on the whole belonged to Almer because if not for his saves, Portugal would have won the game with a substantial difference. In the 13th minute, Nani took a shot from the left which was stopped by Almer and he recovered immediately to push aside Veirinha’s long range volleyed strike.
In the 22nd minute, Ronaldo had a great chance to score but he tapped the ball wide. Again in the 35th minute, Quaresma played a good through ball towards Ronaldo and he made an excellent jump but only to head the ball directly at Almer.
In the 40th minute, Austria came very close to scoring when they got a set piece, courtesy Pepe, towards the right of the box. David Alaba took a wonderful curling free kick, which Harnik couldn’t connect with owing to Veirinha’s strong defending at the goal line.
Soon into the second half, Austria pulled another Portugal scare as Stefan Ilsanker drove a good shot that forced a decisive save from Rui Patricio.
Apart from the early scare, Portugal kept most of the possession and majority of the play happened in the Austrian half. In the 55thminute, Portugal had their best effort on goal with Ronaldo’s strike to the bottom right corner but Almer got his stretched hand to it.
Surely a loose night for Cristiano, Ronaldo was again denied in the 55th minute as his headed ball found Almer to be the wall. Furthermore, Ronaldo’s free kick in the 64th minute went just over the bar.
Like a ready-made opportunity to score, Portugal got a penalty in the 78th minute when Martin Hinteregger brought Ronaldo down in the box. Cristiano stepped up to take the penalty but he seemingly couldn’t handle the pressure and hit the post.
In the last 10 minutes, Portugal seemed a little down as Austria made their way into the Portugal half quite a many times but failed to create any real chance. After missing the occasion of becoming the first player to score in four different European championships, Ronaldo was rebuffed of the same in the 85th minute as he was flagged offside post his header into the back of the net.
Portugal now have 2 points from two games while Austria earned their first point of the competition. The battle for the teams only gets tougher and more pressurizing from here as Hungary sit atop the group with 4 points and Iceland on the second spot with two.