Sunday 23 October 2016

Kid Sanches ready to fire up Portugal

Renato Sanches
Renato Sanches

Portugal's Renato Sanches will become the youngest player to start for his country in a major tournament if he is selected to face Austria tonight (live RTE2, kick-off 8.0).

Sanches was a second-half substitute in Portugal's opening Euro 2016 clash against Iceland and became the youngest player, at 18 years and 301 days, to appear for his country in a European Championship or World Cup.

He took that distinction away from Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his first major tournament appearance as a 19-year-old at Euro 2004.

"Everything is going well and I'm very happy to be here," Sanches said. "I know there are other midfielders that are more experienced and have been more years playing in the national team than me but I'm well and ready to play."

Meanwhile, two of the surprise teams of the opening round of matches at Euro 2016 meet this evening when Iceland face Hungary (live TV3, kick-off 5.0).

Iceland came from behind to draw their first game in the tournament 1-1 with section favourites Portugal while the Hungarians secured a convincing 2-0 victory over Austria.

"You can see how they (Hungary) are progressing as a squad and a team," Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrimsson said.

"They are a really compact and solid team, known for their defensive side of the game, but against Austria you could see how strong they are in attack. All praise goes to Bernd Storck and the coaching team."

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