Cristiano Ronaldo was criticized heavily for his performance and post match out-burst against Iceland in their opening game but he had the chance to put things right when Portugal took on Austria in important group F clash on Saturday night. But just like the first game, they dominated the game and created loads of chance but failed to score. Ronaldo missed couple of easy chances before he was given the chance to redeem himself late in second half via penalty but he fluffed his lines and hit the woodwork.
Portugal 0-0 Austria
[ UEFA European Championship 2016 ]
79′ 0 – 0 Cristiano Ronaldo (missed penalty). Martin Hinteregger brought down ronaldo inside the box and referee awarded the penalty which was missed by Real Madrid record scorer.
Preview & Possible Lineups: As the group F stands, Hungary leads the table with 3 points while Portugal and Iceland has 1 each followed by Austria who lost their opening game against Hungary. Now a win for Portugal will guarantee them top 3 place with a game to spare but a defeat will put them under real trouble to make it out of this group.
Portugal don’t have any major injury concerns but coach Fernando Santos is expected to make couple of changes to fresh things up. Ronaldo and Nani should keep their places in starting lineup while a packed midfield of Moutinho, Quaresma, Andre Gomes should provide much needed control in center of the park.
Austria on the other hand is set to name the same lineup which suffered surprise 2-0 defeat against Hungary. Janko to lead the attacking line with Harnik, Sabitzer and Arnautovic playing in attacking roles.
Match Predictions: Portugal played some quality football against Iceland but they lacked killer instinct in front of the goal and failure to finish off the game cost them two points in the end against possibly the easiest team in the group. Now they play Austria who were widely tipped as one of the dark horses but they fell to a surprise defeat. Portugal do tend to make things difficult for themselves in the group stages and I expect the same tomorrow. I am going with another score draw with Ronaldo to get on scoresheet in his record 127 international cap.