Almer hails 'special day' as Austria thwart Portugal

Getty Images
The 32-year-old shot-stopper proved to be the hero for his country after making several important saves to earn his side a share of the spoils at Parc des Princes

Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer revelled in a "special day" after denying Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in a 0-0 draw at Euro 2016.

Almer proved to be a hero between the sticks for his nation by making several key saves to keep Portugal at bay, before watching Cristiano Ronaldo miss a second-half penalty at Parc des Princes.

And afterwards the 32-year-old keeper, who was singled out by coach Marcel Koller on a night when Austria had to survive long periods of pressure, was in high spirits.

"I'm happy,” Almer said.

"Special day, for me it's good to see I also can save balls from Cristiano (Ronaldo) and I think it gives a little bit more self-confidence."

It was a forgettable night for Ronaldo, who made his record-breaking 128th Portugal appearance.

His 79th-minute spot-kick hit the post before his header was correctly disallowed for offside in Paris.

Asked if he sensed Ronaldo's frustration, Almer replied: "Not really.

"In the game you're so focused you don't see such things but maybe it helped me a little bit at the penalty that he didn't score."

The stalemate earned Austria their first point at the European Championship following the 2-0 loss to Group F leaders Hungary in their opening match.

Austria now face Iceland on Wednesday and Almer is confident his side can secure three points to qualify for the knockout stages.

"For us that's the chance to go to the next round so hopefully we can win," Almer added.