Euro 2016 round up: Portugal 0 Austria 0 - and what the result means

Cristiano Ronaldo takes a penalty during the Uefa Euro 2016 match between Portugal and Austria.
Cristiano Ronaldo takes a penalty during the Uefa Euro 2016 match between Portugal and Austria. PHOTO: EPA

It was a one-man show at the Parc des Princes. Just not the individual performance most were expecting.

Goalkeeper Robert Almer was Austria's hero as Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating night.

Saturday was supposed to be a record-setting night for Ronaldo. Just by turning up, he surpassed Luis Figo's Portuguese record of 127 caps.

He could have had another mark. Twelve yards and Almer were all that stood between Ronaldo and a place in the European Championship record books.

The Real Madrid star had earned a penalty after drawing a foul from Martin Hinteregger. Had he scored he would have become the first player to score in four Euros. But he struck the post.

 
 
 

Twice on Saturday, the woodwork came to Almer's rescue. When the Austria Wien stopper was beaten by Nani's first-half header, the frame of the goal was in Portugal's way.

But he proved to be their biggest obstacle. Six times Portugal found the target, six times Almer denied them.

When Ronaldo did get the ball into the net, he was rightly flagged for offside.

All things considered, Austria should be satisfied with a draw, which was an upgrade from their 2-0 loss to Hungary in the opening round. But the fact remains that the tournament's two biggest underachievers are still winless.

Four days after Ronaldo hit out at Iceland for having a "small mentality" following their 1-1 draw, Portugal have yet to display a winning one.

Match highlights

- Nani, eight yards out, headed over from Joao Moutinho's cross in the 6th minute.

- Seven minutes later, Nani rode a challenge and unleashed an angled drive. Almer saved and had to recover to deny Vieirinha's long-range effort.

- Portugal should have had a lead after 22 minutes. Raphael Guerreiro played a one-two with Nani on the left flank, then centred the ball to Ronaldo. The Portuguese captain, right in front of goal, fired wide.

- Seven minutes later, Portugal got even closer to an opener, with Nani's header hitting the woodwork from eight yards out. Moutinho's follow up went over the bar.

- In the 38th minute, Ricardo Quaresma played Ronaldo in. But the ball was slightly behind the Real Madrid forward and he could not generate enough pace on his shot. His hooked effort from 10 yards was comfortably saved.

 - Austria earned a free kick at the edge of the penalty box in the 41st minute. From the right flank, David Alaba's inswinging cross-shot with plenty of pace was cleared by Vieirinha at the far post.

- Rui Patricio was forced to make a fine save one minute after the restart following Austria midfielder Stefan Ilsanker's low, hard shot from outside the box.

- In the 55th minute, Ronaldo's left-footed shot from outside the box was arrowing towards the bottom corner. But Almer turned it around for a corner. Ronaldo's downward header from the resulting set-piece was parried off the line by Almer.

- Centre-back Hinteregger fouled Ronaldo in the box in the 78th minute, and Portugal were awarded a penalty. Ronaldo stepped up and hit the bottom-left frame. Andre Gomes tried to put the rebound in but his effort went over the bar.

- Ronaldo finally had Almer beaten with a header in the 86th minute. But he was offside when the free kick came in, and the linesman's flag was duly raised.

The talking point

Should Portugal manager Fernando Santos stick or twist? The goals have not flowed for his side but they have been created enough chances to win both their games against Iceland and Austria. Quaresma's re-introduction into the starting line-up after recovering from injury gave them an added dimension up front. Should Santos keep faith in an XI that played at a high tempo and produced scoring opportunities, or is it time to freshen things up?

Man of the Match

Almer. Portugal had 23 attempts, with six on target, and Almer was equal to all of them. He also commanded his area during Portugal's corners, coming to claim the ball and relieving his backline of pressure. Portugal had 10 corners compared to Austria's zero.

It took a huge effort from Almer to secure Austria's first ever clean sheet at the European Championship.

What the result means

Group F is wide open. Just three points separate the top and bottom positions currently occupied by Hungary and Austria. A win for Portugal over Hungary on Wednesday will see them through to the last 16. Austria still have their fate in their hands. Victory over Iceland will take them to the knockout stages.

Key statistic

Ronaldo has attempted more shots (20) at Euro 2016 than nine other teams.

What they said

Almer: "I'm happy that I could help the side, most of all in this game. But it's important for all of us to have taken a point. It was very important to take a point against Portugal. It was always clear that we would have to win one game and we'll try that vs Iceland."

Santos: "We can't wallow in our own misery. There is a final to play on the 22nd - our first final of these Euros. When we talk about the team, we can't concentrate on how many missed chances we had - fair or unfair - this is football."