Football

Iceland claimed a memorable 1-1 draw against Portugal at Euro 2016.

Heimir Hallgrimsson celebrates Iceland's team effort

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Iceland co-coach Heimir Hallgrimsson hailed a superb team performance after the minnows claimed a battling 1-1 draw with heavyweights Portugal in their Euro 2016 opener.

Iceland were outplayed for large spells in the Group F clash in St Etienne - and mustered only four shots to Portugal's 25 - but were rewarded for a spirited and organised display.

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Birkir Bjarnason's equaliser, Iceland's first goal at a major tournament, cancelled out Nani's first-half effort and earned the point.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Hallgrimsson said: "It's down to teamwork.

"You can't put one player to stop a guy like (Cristiano) Ronaldo. It has to be a team effort, closing the areas.

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"There were a lot of players responsible for Ronaldo tonight. We did a really good job, well done the lads."

Hallgrimsson also praised Iceland's fans.

"It was so fantastic to play here," he said. "It was like our home. Our fans were unbelievable. It was just like home. It helped the players very much."

Portugal coach Fernando Santos admitted the result was a setback but was confident his side would recover.

They next play Austria in Paris on Saturday while Iceland move on to play Hungary in Marseille.

Santos said: "There are always difficulties in the first game. I think we'll bounce back to play two great matches. There's no use crying over spilled milk."

Portugal were not fluent throughout but still created a number of clear-cut opportunities. Nani and Ronaldo may particularly rue aiming headers straight at goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

"We should've scored more goals," said Santos. "That's no secret."

Nani was also not too downhearted with the result.

He said: "On the one hand I'm sad because we wanted to win but on the other I'm pleased to see that the team was really committed. We showed great attitude and we played a better match."

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Topics:
Euro 2016
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo

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