The first of the two games on match day 5 was played between Austria and Hungary, which the Hungarians won 2-0.
Austria almost scored the quickest goal in the history of Euros, when their star man David Alaba’s shot hit the post just 28 seconds after kick-off. Thereafter, the Hungary defence managed to keep the threats on their goal at a minimum. All the notable incidents took place in the second half of the game, as Hungary striker Adam Szalai converted a Laszlo Kleinheiser pass into goal in the 62nd minute, thereby scoring his first goal in 41 matches.
Four minutes after the Hungary goal, Austria received a second blow as their defender Aleksandar Dragovic got sent off for receiving a second yellow card. Zoltan Stieber then sealed Hungary’s victory in the 87th minute by scoring a sensational chip over the Austrian goal keeper Robert Almer.
Hungary’s Zoltan Gera made the most number of passes (55), clearances (3) and interceptions (3), and was therefore rightly named as man of the match.
Hungary coach Bernd Storck explained the reason behind his team’s victory by stating: “We knew what to expect from Austria and we knew what their strengths were. We took their important players out of the game which was key, and that was vital to our success.”
On the other hand, Austria boss Marcel Koller said: “I think we started well. Essentially I think we were too nervous in the first half and lost the ball too often unnecessarily. We gave Hungary the chance to have possession too often.”
The second and final game of match day 5 was played between Iceland and Portugal, which surprisingly ended in a 1-1 draw.
It was Nani who opened the scoring for Portugal, slotting home a low cross by Andre Gomes in the 31st minute. Then in the second half, midfielder Birkir Bjarnason volleyed in a shock equaliser for Iceland in the 50th minute. And despite Portugal enjoying a mammoth 72.3% possession and hitting 26 shots on target, Ronaldo and co. could not find a winner against the smallest nation to have ever reached the European Championship finals.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos said in the post-match interview: “We should’ve scored more goals: that’s no secret. There’s always difficulties in the first game. I think we’ll bounce back to play two great matches.”
Iceland’s joint manager Heimir Hallgrimsson revealed how his team managed to stop Portugal captain and star man Cristiano Ronaldo, by stating: “It’s down to teamwork. You can’t put one player to stop a guy like Ronaldo. It has to be a team effort, closing the areas. There were a lot of players responsible for Ronaldo tonight. We did a really good job – well done the lads.”
Ronaldo was clearly frustrated with being kept quiet throughout the game, and refused to shake the hands of Iceland players after the final whistle.
In the post-match interview, he complained about the tactics used by Icelandic players: “I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end. It was unbelievable. We tried hard to win the game and Iceland didn’t try anything. This, in my opinion, shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”
Iceland will now take on Group F leaders Hungary in Marseille on Saturday, 18 June, whereas Portugal will face off against Austria in Paris on the same day.