Bjarnason's strike gives Iceland an unforgettable tournament debut following Nani's opener for Portugal

Bjarnason's strike gives Iceland an unforgettable tournament debut following Nani's opener for Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gylfi Sigurdsson are the star men for Portugal and Iceland. (Source: VAVEL UK)
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Portugal: Rui Patricio; Vieirinha, Pepe, Carvalho, Guerreiro; Danilo, João Mário (Quaresma, min. 76), Moutinho (Sanches, min. 71), Gomes (Eder, min. 84); Nani; Cristiano Ronaldo.
Iceland: Halldórsson; Sævarsson, Sigurdsson, Árnason, Skúlason; Gunnarsson, Gylfi; Gudmundsson (Bjarnason, min. 90), Bjarnason; Sigthórsson (Finnbogason, min. 80), Bödvarsson
SCORE: 1-0, min. 32, Nani. 1-1, min. 5, Bjarnason.
REFEREE: Cuneyt Cakır (TUR). Booked: Bjarnason (min. 55)
INCIDENTS: Euro 2016 Group F match-day one fixture between Portugal and Iceland at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne. Played in front of 41,500 spectators.

FT: That's all we've got time for tonight! Thank you for following VAVEL on this magnificent day for the underdog. I've been Conor de Smith, goodnight.

FT: Portugal take on an equally disappointed Austria in Paris this Saturday while Iceland face Hungary in Marseille next.

FT: Nani with the goal for Portugal but his side will be bitterly disappointed with the result after so much hype going into the European Championships. Winning the competition was the talk of the Portuguese public and players before kick-off, now focus will be on attempting to finish top of the group.

FT: Portugal 1-1 Iceland. Historic. Birkir Bjarnason's goal has given Iceland a vital point in their first tournament appearance in their history. 

90' Handball in the wall gives Ronaldo a much greater chance. What a way this would be to seal it.

90' A free-kick from 30-yards out to be taken by Ronaldo in the last few seconds? Surely not?

90' Birkir Bjarnason fouls Ricardo Quaresma in a dangerous position. The free-kick is a poor one. Iceland are on the verge.

90' Three minutes added on here! Can someone get a winner?!

90' Johann Gudmundsson rather slowly makes way for Elmar Bjarnason.

86' Alfred Finnbogason's first effort since his substitution is fortuitously saved by Patricio. The Real Sociedad striker did well to work an opportunity but his powerful shot is unfortunately hit straight at the 'keeper.

85' RONALDO... misses. How did he not score? Good save but for a man who has scored 51 goals for his club this season, you would have expected him to convert Nani's cross.

84' Eder comes on for Andre Gomes, who has arguably been Portugal's best player over these 84 minutes. 

82' Ricardo Quaresma delivers one of the best corners we've seen all night and he finds Pepe as a result. The centre-back heads over the bar. Eder is now poised to come on. 

80' Alfred Finnbogason, who was expected to start tonight, comes on for Nantes' Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. The former is one of a handful of Iceland players to ply their trade in one of Europe's top five leagues.

78' Immediate impact for Quaresma as he forces the goalkeeper into a decent save. 

76' Ricardo Quaresma took a knock before the game tonight but he has now come on in place of Joao Mario. Quaresma reportedly impressed in training prior to the squad's trip to France and had a hand in four of Portugal's seven goals against Estonia this month.

74' A long throw is met by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who heads the ball across the face of goal only for a Portugal defender to clear. 

71' The subsequent free-kick is taken well by Raphael Guerreiro. The full-back manages to locate Nani but the header clears the post by a few mere inches. Time is running out for the favourites. 

71' Skulason's foul on Ronaldo allows Joao Moutinho to come off for Renato Sanches. 

70' Renato Sanches is about to come on for the Portuguese. 

68' Jon Dadi Bodvarsson fouls Pepe but the Real Madrid defender kicks out at the striker, an act that was met with jeers from the crowd. Free-kick to Portugal though.

67' Joao Mario works some space to put in a cross but an Iceland defender is there to intercept.

65' Santos has previously indicated that Renato Sanches will be used more as an impact player at this tournament following his late inclusion in the 23-man squad - well they need an impact now. 

63' Vieirinha has his cross deflected but it almost arrives in the path of Nani. Halldorsson comes out to get a hand on it and, following a scramble in the penalty area, it gets cleared.  

60' Andre Gomes shifts the ball onto his left foot on the periphery of the penalty area and gets his shot away. Halldorsson unconvincingly palms the ball past the post and it goes out for a corner. The corner is taken very quickly and leads to another chance but the goalkeeper is up to the task once more.

59' How it feels to get your country's first goal in tournament football.

52' It was a great finish by Bjarnason, who kept his composure to volley past Patricio. It now allows Iceland to resume their defensive style of play and crucially gives them something to hold on to if they can't find another.

51' GOAL! Iceland have levelled things up here! Iceland have got their first goal in tournament football! Bjarnason was left totally unmarked at the back post so, when Bodvarsson delivered his cross, the 28-year-old was able to slot the ball home. Game on.

47' Ronaldo volleys just wide of the goal as Portugal go in search of second.

46' Seleccao have been impressive thus far but one feels that they are yet to get out of first gear. Iceland's compact shape has made it difficult for some of their opponent's creative talents but, if Joao Moutinho and Joao Mario can get into the game more, we might start to see something near Portugal's best. 

46' Portugal, with this new and extremely exciting one man kick-off, get the second half underway.

HT: Portugal have dominated the early action but the first save went to Iceland, with Gylfi Sigurdsson failing to beat Rui Patricio with his strike. From then on, however, Portugal created a number of good opportunities. Nani's close-range header was vitally saved by the 'keeper after 21 minutes but the Fenerbahce winger made amends when he directed Andre Gomes' low cross past Halldorsson.

HT: Cuneyt Cakır blows for half-time. Fernando Santos will be happy with his team's performance in the first 45 minutes but he will be aware that work is still needed to secure the victory. 

44' We are approaching half-time but Portugal are still creating. Vieirinha whips in a cross but just evades Ronaldo in the penalty area.

41' Joao Moutinho cuts inside and curls the ball with his right foot. An optimistic effort is easily dealt with by the goalkeeper. Portugal now getting into their rhythm now and are enjoying the bulk of possession after a careless start. 

38' Iceland have grabbed a couple of corners in the last few minutes but they have failed to make the most of them, even with dead ball specialist Gylfi Sigurdsson on the field. 

37' The underdogs have responded well to going one behind and have had a couple of chances since the goal.

32' GOAL FOR PORTUGAL! Nani atones for his earlier miss with the opening goal here in Saint-Etienne! Andre Gomes, who has been linked with Manchester United of late, provides the cross that Nani duly tapped in. Great link up play from the Valencia midfielder and Vieirinha on the right. 1-0.

26' Pepe plays an outstanding ball to fellow Madrid man Ronaldo from the halfway line. The pass might have been inch perfect but Ronaldo's finish wasn't - the forward completely mistimes his volley before Halldorsson clears. 

21' An ineffable cross on the left from Cristiano Ronaldo finds former Manchester United team-mate Nani in the centre. His header, that was directed low and on target, was wonderfully saved by the feet of Halldorsson.

18' Good spell of possession for Portugal ends in a long shot by Vieirinha that was comfortably saved by Hannes Halldorsson, who directed the video for Iceland's Eurovision entry in 2012. 

14' No real team has been able to gain a foothold in the match thus far with sloppy passes becoming commonplace in the opening quarter of an hour. Best chance has fallen to Iceland and Gylfi Sigurdsson though.

11' Danilo gives away a free-kick on Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose cross was uncharacteristically overhit.  

5' Joao Moutinho takes a free-kick on the right flank but his ball is a poor one. Nani, in for the injured Ricardo Quaresma, does well the get his header on target,

3' Iceland come close! Gylfi Sigurdsson does superbly on the left-hand side to work an opportunity after Iceland won the ball back. The 26-year-old goes to curl his shot past Rui Patricio with his right foot but the goalkeeper makes a save. Chance.

1' We're not even a minute in and already there are danger signs for the minnows as Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani burst forward. 

1' Iceland get things underway here in Saint-Etienne in their all white kit.

Spine tingling stuff from Iceland and their terrific fans! A number of players simply stood with their eyes shut to savour the occasion. 

Players now walking out of the tunnel ahead of the national anthems.

Just what can this man produce on the night of his record-breaking 127th cap for Portugal?

The teams are warming up at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard! Kick-off now 10 minutes away.

Hungary secured three points against rivals Austria earlier in one of the biggest shocks of the tournament so far. Goals from Szalai and Stieber ensured of  the victory, Hungary's first in tournament football for three decades. This comes just under three years after a degrading 8-1 defeat at the hands of Holland.

Quaresma is not fit to start, so it's Nani who partners Ronaldo up to for Portugal while Bodvarsson gets the nod over the in-form Finnbogason.

Iceland side to face Portugal: Halldórsson; Sævarsson, Sigurdsson, Árnason, Skúlason; Gunnarsson, Gylfi; Gudmundsson, Bjarnason; Sigthórsson, Bödvarsson.

Portugal side to face Iceland: Rui Patricio; Vieirinha, Pepe, Carvalho, Guerreiro; Danilo, João Mário, Moutinho, Gomes; Nani; Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal's coach has arrived at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and are welcomed with a huge reception by their fans.

Everything you need to know about Iceland in 30 seconds courtesy of

Hungary have taken the lead over Austria just past the hour mark! Adam Szalai gets his first goal in 41 games but can they hold on against their bitter rivals?!

Portugal's changing room is ready! Not long to go now.

Did you know that Iceland is the fourth largest exporter of fish and fishery products to the EU after Norway, China and Ecuador in value terms? If you think of a good fish pun, let minnow.

It's 0-0 at the end of the first 45 minutes in Bordeaux, which will suit Portugal down to the ground! Both Austria and Hungary have another 45 minutes to obtain a winning start to their European Championship campaigns.

The first-half between Austria and Hungary is underway in the other Group F match of the day! Follow it live here!

Friendly Portugal and Iceland fans meet in Saint-Etienne early in the morning.

Iceland might be making their tournament debut but Portugal harbour a great record in the competition. The nation have at least reached the quarter-finals every time  they have qualified, finished as semi-finals on three occasions and even made the final in 2004 before losing the minnows GreeceOjogo highlighted the fact this record in the morning.

Portugal's main man is undoubtedly Cristiano Ronaldo but the appear to be less reliant on the winger than ever before. Journalist Tom Kundert told VAVEL: "Portugal have a significant number of highly talented players emerging, meaning they can build a very strong team without the captain and not be as reliant on him as they have been in the past." 

Ronaldo scored 51 goals in 48 games in all competitions for Real Madrid last season and will be hoping to be the eighth player, alongside team-mate Pepe, to lift the European Cup and the Henri Delaunay Trophy in the same summer. Cristiano is also set to win his 127th cap, equalling Luis Figo's Portugal record, and could score in a fourth European Championship.

Portugal reached the final on home turf in 2004 but famously lost to minnows Greece.
Portugal reached the final on home turf in 2004 but famously lost to minnows Greece.

Although many players do possess incredible technique compared to the Iceland teams of old, Iceland's greatest asset is arguably a superb team spirit and a huge desire to work hard. Gylfi Sigurdsson is without question their star player while Aron Gunnarsson, who also plays his club football in Wales, is just as integral to the midfield. The former is certainly their most high-profile representative after plying his trade in the Premier League for several years now and will be the poster boy back home. The midfielder, who is a dead ball specialist, has the quality to change the outcome of any game as he showcased during a qualifying campaign that ended in a six goal haul for the 26-year-old.

Sigurdsson is Iceland's main man.
Sigurdsson is Iceland's main man.

Iceland and Portugal never played on another until they met in qualifying for Euro 2012. Portugal won both games with Ronaldo leading the way in a 3-1 win and Nani scoring a brace in a 5-3 victory in Portugal.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Iceland ahead of this fixture but Portugal striker Ricardo Quaresma is a doubt due to a hamstring injury picked up in training. The forward has been in fine form ahead of the competition, scoring twice and assisting twice against Estonia, and will be a huge miss for a side that struggles to score goals at times. Nani will be expected to replace his countryman in the starting XI should Quaresma be ruled out today. Cristiano Ronaldo also suffered an injury with Real Madrid towards the end of the domestic season while Danny, Bernardo Silva and Fabio Coentrao were all unavailable for selection due to sustaining injuries with their club sides.

Ruled out? Quaresma could miss out on Portugal's opener through injury.
Ruled out? Quaresma could miss out on Portugal's opener through injury.

Hallgrimsson said this before the game: "Psychologically I would think they want to knock us out of our stride as soon as possible. It's no surprise they picked Norway and Estonia to play before the finals –both play similarly to us. They come into this game brimming with confidence. They are not a team that play only one way so it's difficult to play against them – in return, we can't play just one kind of defensive style against them. There is a lot to look out for but hopefully we have prepared well enough."

Iceland are one of the few teams in international football to be co-managed, which they have been since 2014. Lars Lagerback was originally in charge but Heimir Hallgrimsson has stepped up to form a wonderful partnership, with Hallgrimsson providing local knowledge and Lagerback boasting international experience in abundance. Lagerback will be leaving his post after this tournament, though, leaving his partner to take charge of the 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign.

Santos has managed all of Portugal's top three (Porto, Benfica and Sporting) but his greatest achievement is arguably taking Greece to the knockout stages of both Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup. He has masterminded qualification whilst bringing through a plethora of young talent in his time in charge of Portugal, that has seen wins over Argentina and Italy for the first time in 40 years. He also stated in his press conference: "[Iceland] are more than just physically strong. They are strong, tactically well-organised, and they know exactly how to act in defence and in attack. They will do everything to break Portugal's will to win the match and they've got every right to do so."

Fernando Santos, like many of the players, was optimistic before the start of their European campaign. Here is what the Portugal boss had to say about their upcoming fixture with Iceland: "The players can't wait to get started. It goes without saying that we want to have a good Euro and, in order to achieve that, our aim is still the same. We go into every match to win."

Have you checked out our Euro 2016 guide yet? It's packed with all the information you need during the tournament so be sure to give a read!

Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey will be officiating this encounter. The 39-year-old brings pedigree to a tournament that has seen referees let a lot go thus far, perhaps under instruction from FIFA boss Gianni Infantino. Cakir took charge of 33 matches this season, including two of the Champions League semi-finals, producing 142 yellow and 10 red cards. He has already made his European Championships debut and even took charge of Portugal's Euro 2012 semi-final with Spain

Yesterday's fixtures were thoroughly entertaining and we will be hoping for more of the same today. Spain started Monday with a tight but entertaining victory over a solid Czech Republic, a victory that might be remembered for the brilliance of the evergreen Andres Iniesta above anything else. Ireland were denied by a Ciaran Clark own-goal after taking the lead via an ineffable Wes Hoolahan half volley against Sweden before an exceptional Italy performance gave them a vital three points over dark-horses Belgium.

Iniesta showcased his abilities in the win over the Czech Republic.
Iniesta showcased his abilities in the win over the Czech Republic.

Fans across the globe have been enjoying the Euros for a week now having been treated to some exceptional matches and stories, perhaps somewhat benefitting from an expanded tournament that the majority were against. 1-0 was the most common scoreline before France got this edition of the Euros underway and that has also been the case this year, with their being a grand total of four 1-0 victories. Are the smaller sides getting better defensively or does this demonstrate the lack of world-class European strikers? Let us know by Tweeting us at @VAVEL.

KSI have enjoyed a less fruitful preparation for the competition they worked so hard for, losing five of their eight friendlies since the turn of the year. Defeats to the United Arab Emirates, the USA and a Norway team Portugal dismissed of days earlier might just prove that they will have to be at maximum capacity if they want to continue upsetting the odds this summer.

Just 30 months before Strakarnir okkar recorded their first of two wins against the Dutch, they were ranked 131st in FIFA's world rankings. To put that into perspective, that is where Bahrain are currently placed. It has been some rise for the boys in blue, who only just missed out on the World Cup two years before this tournament, and this 'golden generation' will hope to continue this upward trend in France.

Iceland beat 2010 World Cup finalists Holland at the Amsterdam Arena (Source: ShutterStock)
Iceland beat 2010 World Cup finalists Holland at the Amsterdam Arena (Source: ShutterStock)

Iceland have been the real romantic story of the Euros. The country of Iceland was probably best known for the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull (Don't even try and pronounce it) in 2010 rather for their sporting exploits. In spite of just a 325,000 population and their extremely long winters, though, Iceland not only qualified for Euro 2016 but qualified automatically in a group that included Holland.

The Seleccao have also triumphed in the majority of the friendlies since qualification! The Iberian outfit recorded wins over Luxembourg, a Belgium ranked the best in the world, Norway and a 7-0 thrashing of Estonia before travelling to Linas-Marcoussis. These friendlies were coupled alongside training at Cidade do Futebol in Portugal, where strikers Eder and Ricardo Quaresma impressed in Ronaldo's absence. 

Fernando Santos' side navigated their qualifying group superbly despite a hugely disappointing to Albania in their first competitive encounter since a frustrating 2014 World Cup campaign. That defeat in Aveiro proved to be the final slip up in a reasonably weak Group I as Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals to help his nation qualify automatically.

Portugal, meanwhile, have come into Euro 2016 with an immense amount of confidence that has stemmed from a solid qualification campaign, an exciting squad and some great form prior to their opening game.

David Beckham was sent off here during the 1998 World Cup for kicking out at a certain Diego Simeone and England will return to the stadium known for its English style to face Slovakia next week.

The daunting Stade Geoffroy-Guichard will be the scene of this highly-anticipated meeting. Nicknamed Le Chaudron due to its incredible atmosphere, the ground was one of many to be modernised ahead of the tournament but it still retains a wealth of history. The 41,500 capacity stadium was opened just north of the city centre in 1931 and has been home to AS Saint-Etienne, the most successful team in French football, since.

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is known for its intense atmosphere and English style.
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is known for its intense atmosphere and English style.

Portugal's clash with Iceland is the second of Group F's fixtures with Hungary and Austria playing 540km away in Bordeaux earlier in the day. Although this particular group might not harbour the most quality at the 15th edition of the European Championships, it does possess four extremely competitive sides who will all be looking to progress.

Good evening and welcome to VAVEL UK's live coverage of tonight's Group F encounter between Portugal and Iceland. The 12th match of this year's European Championships will kick-off in Saint-Etienne at 20:00BST and I, Conor de Smith, will be here throughout the evening to keep you up to date with proceedings.