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Giants Portugal held 1-1 by minnows Iceland in EURO 2016 Group F

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-15 09:27

Giants Portugal held 1-1 by minnows Iceland in EURO 2016 Group F

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal warms up before the Euro 2016 Group F soccer match between Portugal and Iceland in Saint-Etienne, France, June 14, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

SAINT-ETIENNE - Hot favorites Portugal, centered by Cristiano Ronaldo, were held 1-1 tie by newcomers and minnows Iceland in their first match of UEFA EURO 2016 Group F here on Tuesday.

Huge cheers roared out in the stadium as Iceland fans celebrated the first point from their first ever game at a major tournament.

Basel midfielder Birkir Bjarnason was the hero to earn the draw for Iceland as he volleyed home a pinpoint cross from Johann Gudmundsson in the 50th minute to level Portuguese forward Nani's low first-half finish.

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said, "We always know about how strong Portugal are. They are one of the best and probably go further. It was really difficult against them."

"We are very organized and fought hard. It's down to team work. It's unfair to put one player to stop a guy like C. Ronaldo. There must be a team effort closing the areas," Hallgrimsson added.

"That's our first time qualified. It's really good to have one point. It's better not to lose the first game," he said.

In the 31st minute, midfielder Andre Gomes received the ball on the right of the penalty area and fed a timing across for Nani to steer home his 18th goal for Portugal.

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