'We showed a lot of character': Frustrating Cristiano Ronaldo delights Iceland's goalie - Firstpost
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'We showed a lot of character': Frustrating Cristiano Ronaldo delights Iceland's goalie


Iceland's heroic goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson was on cloud nine after stopping Cristiano Ronaldo making history as the minnows held Portugal to a 1-1 draw on their Euro 2016 debut.

The Real Madrid ace had ten shots on goal in Saint Etienne but failed to become the first man to score in four European Championships as he was frustrated by Iceland's dogged defence and a great display from Halldorsson.

"I feel great, we showed a lot of character by getting a point," said Halldorsson as Portugal had 24 shots on goal, while Iceland converted one of their four. "We were playing a really good team and the best player in the world. The last 35 minutes were really long after we'd equalised."

Iceland's goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson jumps for the ball as Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo. AFP

Iceland's goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson jumps for the ball as Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo. AFP

Ronaldo stormed off the field in frustration at full-time and reportedly refused to shake hands with his opponents.

"He can do what he wants, we're just happy with the point," added Iceland's co-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who was unable to prevent the word 'victory' passing his lips following the draw.

"Our defending was fantastic: we were really organised and worked really hard. Apart from one or two situations, we were really focused and it was a total team victory for us," Hallgrimsson told reporters.

"You can't ask one player to stop guys like Cristiano Ronaldo. It's unfair to put a player to mark him, so it has to be a team effort," Hallgrimsson said. "There were a lot of players that were responsible for Ronaldo, and luckily he didn’t have many chances."

The team was cheered on by hordes of fans in blue team shirts, many of them wearing Viking horns. There were an estimated 7,000 Icelandic spectators at the St Etienne stadium, or more than 2 percent of the country's 330,000 population.

"The Iceland fans were fantastic, unbelievable, it was just like playing at home. When they got tired, the fans just cheered them on," Hallgrimsson said.

He said Iceland would take a confidence boost into their next game with Hungary in Marseille on Saturday, where a win would give them an excellent chance of making the tournament's last-16.

"It's really good to have a point. We can go a little bit more relaxed into the next game, but with a win against Hungary we are probably almost there."

With inputs from AFP, Reuters

First Published On : Jun 15, 2016 10:20 IST

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