Group F continues at the Euro 2016 tournament in France on Saturday, June 18th with Portugal taking on Austria in Paris. Portugal is currently ranked number eight in the world by FIFA while Austria is ranked 10th. Portugal could only manage a 1-1 draw with 34th-ranked Iceland in their opening match while Austria was beaten 2-0 by 30th-ranked Hungary after going down to 10 men. Neither country has managed to win a European title although Portugal finished as runners up to Greece in 2004 when they hosted the event.
Portugal vs Austria – Pinnacle Euro 2016 Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Portugal as the favorites at -125 with Austria +420 and a draw at +268
Portugal vs Austria – Head to Head:
- These two nations last met in Euro 1996 qualifying with the teams drawing 1-1 in Austria in October of 1995 and Portugal wining 1-0 at home in November of 1994. Portugal is unbeaten in the past four meetings with a win and three draws. The sides have met 10 times in the past with Austria winning three, losing two and drawing five. Austria’s last win was 2-1 in Portugal in 1979 and is their only victory in the last seven encounters.
Portugal won their five-team qualifying group by going undefeated with seven victories and a draw. This gave them a seven-point gap over second-place Albania while Denmark came third in the group and Serbia placed fourth. However, goals weren’t easy to come by for the Portuguese as they outscored their opponents just 8-5 in their eight qualifying contests. This trend continued against Iceland in their Euro 2016 opener. They competed in the Euro 2012 event and made it to the final four before being ousted by eventual winners Spain in a penalty shootout. Portugal then reached the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but failed to advance from their group stage after facing the USA, Ghana and Germany.
Portugal played a few pre-tournament games this year and they beat Belgium and Norway at home by scores of 2-1 and 3-0 as well as thumping Estonia 7-0. However, they lost their last outing 1-0 to England on the road. Rui Patricio is Portugal’s top goalkeeper and he’s being backed up by Anthony Lopes and Eduardo. The defenders include Cedric, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves and Jose Fonte. The midfield features William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Adrien Silva and Joao Mario. The Portuguese forwards are Rafa Silva, Ricardo Quaresma, Nani, Eder and Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s arguably the best player in the world at the moment.
The Portuguese took a 1-0 lead in their match against Iceland when Nani scored in the 31st minute. However, it didn’t hold up as Birkir Bjarnason equaled for Iceland 19 minutes later. The Portuguese had the lion’s share of possession and created more chances, but failed to do anything with them. Austria qualified for the tournament by surprisingly winning their group with nine wins and a draw. They got off to a poor start when defender Alexsandar Dragovic was sent off the pitch against a good Hungarian side in the 66th minute. They were already trailing 1-0 at this point as Adam Szalai gave Hungary the lead after 62 minutes.
Austria created enough chances to grab at least one point, but when they did put the ball in the net it came at the same moment Dragovic earned his red card on a second yellow and the goal was nullified. The Hungarians scored an insurance marker just three minutes from the end of the match when Zoltan Steiber broke down the right side of the pitch and placed a perfect chip over the Austrian keeper Robert Almer. Dragovic will now miss the match against Portugal.
by Ian S. Palmer