France and Portugal in goalless stalemate

Cristiano Ronaldo came closest to scoring in extra time

Portugal's forward Ronaldo (R) embraces France's forward Kylian Mbappe at the end of the Nations League football match between France and Portugal, on October 11, 2020 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE

France drew 0-0 at home to Portugal in the Uefa Nations League on Sunday in a cagey clash between the world and European champions that largely failed to live up to its billing.

The teams could only manage one shot on target in the first half, a hopeful attempt by Antoine Griezmann from the tightest of angles that stung the hands of keeper Rui Patricio.

Cristiano Ronaldo came closest to scoring when he fired a left-footed strike at goal in added time but his deflected shot was well saved by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Ronaldo also nearly scored in the first half but France defender Lucas Hernandez produced an excellent sliding block.

The star vented his frustration at teammate Joao Felix after the forward skewed wide as he met a cross that Ronaldo was waiting to turn into the net.

Portugal defender Pepe looked to have finally broken the deadlock late on when he placed a diving header in the net after a free kick but he was ruled offside.

This was the teams' first meeting since Portugal's extra-time win over France in the Euro 2016 final.

But the game could hardly have felt more different, with only nine players who started that showpiece starting the match on Sunday.

Only 1,000 fans were allowed in to the 80,000-capacity Stade de France due to coronavirus restrictions and neither side played with much urgency, looking content enough to cancel each other out.

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