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Cristiano Ronaldo And Portugal Somehow Tie 1-1 Against A Country Of 300,000

The result is official. Portugal have lost to tied with Iceland 1-1. It’s a result that somehow isn’t surprising but doesn’t make any sense at the same time.

How? How can a team as talented as Portugal draw 1-1 with Iceland? Cristiano Ronaldo probably has more talent in his left foot than all of Iceland’s roster combined, but he failed to look dangerous at any point tonight. Sure, he made some runs towards Iceland’s goal, but those runs either ended with his shot getting blocked or him shooting from 30 yards out, not exactly a sweet spot for anyone, and he completely jagged the clear cut opportunities he had to score.

Nani scored, but after doing so he never threatened either. Quaresma came on and more of the same can be said of him. Joao Moutinho nand Joao Mario were comfortable in possession when up 1-0, but once Iceland drew level they manufactured little to nothing.

Aside from Nani’s goal, Portugal never consistently made the game easier for each other. It was as if once they got into their attacking third they felt a mandate to shoot from distance, to not show or make runs for their teammates, to do absolutely everything they could on their own. The result was a talented team that strangely was made to suffer the more it tried to let that talent show.

The most shameful part of all of this for Portugal is that they were on easy street for much of the first half, but couldn’t score again. Nani’s goal came in the 31st minute, and for the rest of the half they casually kept the ball. If there was ever a time to score, it was then, but they just couldn’t do it.  

Portugal had other such dominating periods, some of which came after Iceland equalized, but they still just couldn’t score. It seemed like they were magnets of opposite polarity; the close they got to each other, to Iceland’s goal, the harder it was for them to connect. I cannot think of a single impressive passing move that Portugal had in the second half.

Of course, credit must be given to Iceland, whose fans showed out in force to support. Their goal came courtesy of some shockingly blown man marking, and was finished expertly. Iceland may only have 300,000 people in its country, but someone in there knows how to finish:

I don’t know what the bigger question is: how a professional center-back pairing with the experience of Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho could leave an opponent so open in the box, or how a country of 300,000 people fielded a team that just managed to get a point from Portugal? I’d imagine if you can answer one you can answer the other.

For now, we will just have to accept that Portugal put in one of the worst dominating performances you will see all Euro 2016.

Follow me on Twitter: @yetly

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