Games of the Day
Iceland vs. Austria, Saint-Dennis, 17:00
Hungary vs. Portugal, Lyon, 17:00
Hungary – 4pts
Iceland – 2pts
Portugal – 2pts
Austria – 1pts
It’s one of the most baffling groups at Euro 2016 for all the reasons you wouldn’t have said before the tournament kicked off. This afternoon see’s Group F draw to a close with Portugal on the cusp of an unlikely exit from the tournament alongside supposed dark horses Austria. Who would of funk it?
I admit I got this group wrong. I thought Austria were going to win the group, with Hungary the sorrowful whipping boys. Portugal would come second with Iceland progressing as one of the lucky losers in third place. Instead, we have genuine curveballs ahoy as anyone of the four sides are still in the position to qualify for the knockouts.
Today’s games are too difficult to call. If this was the real footballing world, you would have to say that Portugal and Austria were most likely to pick up maximum points but if football was that easy it would be firstly, boring and secondly, every man and his dog would be picking up massive accumulator’s every week.
For Fernando Santos, he must be rueing the lack of a clinical no.9. Hard to believe such a statement might be valid when you have ‘CR7’ at your disposal but Portugal seem to be doing everything but score. Against Iceland, Portugal dominated the first 45 minutes and then against Austria, in a game where Portugal created 23 chances, Ronaldo managed to miss a penalty, hit the post and have a goal ruled out for offside as Portugal drew once more. As Ronaldo continues to carrying the hopes of the Portuguese, Santos will be looking to the likes of Nani or even a Renato Sanches to step forward and claim glory.
Elsewhere, Paris sees Iceland take on Austria. Austria, for a team so fancied before the tournament have been awful so far in France and with an Iceland team that are more than accomplished of picking up wins against good opposition (they beat Holland in qualifying home and away). Austria could be one of the biggest shocks to be knocked out, especially when you consider they are giving away places for the final 16.
For whoever does come second in this group, they are guaranteed to be facing Wayne Rooney and co and with all four teams still in with a shout of qualification, England will be watching apprehensively the outcome of this group. Rooney vs. Ronaldo once more?
It would be a hell of a game, and one that I will be attending in Nice come Monday evening.
Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog