Iceland were full value for their point against Portugal despite spending the majority of the match defending, says Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Portugal drew first blood as Nani opened the scoring and looked on course to make their dominance count before a spirited comeback from the minnows. Birkir Bjarnason pulled his side back on level terms through a well-taken strike which helped inspire his side continue their dogged defence.
Somewhat miraculously, Iceland held on for a famous point much to the delight of the 15,000 travelling fans inside the Saint Denis Stadium in Paris.
‘It’s a great point. It was an extremely difficult game – we were defending for perhaps 88 minutes, and as you can perhaps hear I‘m losing my voice, since we had to talk a lot and run a lot off the ball.’ the Swansea City star told the media after the match.
‘But we’ve shown before we‘re more than good enough to defend for 90 minutes against these teams. It shows the character in the team to go 1-0 down against a team like Portugal and still stay in the game.
‘It’s great to see that we’re good enough for this level. It’s great to get a point from this first game. Now there are two games left – one win will probably be enough to advance, but we want to finish it as soon as possible and win the next game to make sure of it.
‘The fans were wonderful. You could see before the game that everybody was singing the same song. I think all of us got goosebumps while we were warming up. Great support and a great point, so the supporters can party tonight.’
Teammate Aron Gunnarsson echoed his teammate’s sentiments.
‘It’s unbelievable,’ added Gunnarsson.
‘We had a game plan and stuck exactly to it. And we got a point against a really strong Portugal side that tried everything they could to score another goal.
‘I could sense they relaxed a little bit and started showing off after they scored, but that just didn’t work against us.
‘My groin injury has been playing up and I haven’t trained for the past three days so my plan was to work myself gradually into the game, which I did.
‘The first half wasn’t that great, but as soon as we got more involved in the match, things started going much better and I think I played my part in defence as planned. That’s what you expect from a defensive player.’