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Santos backs Ronaldo after missed penalty

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Jun 2016

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Fernando Santos insists Cristiano Ronaldo will remain the penalty taker for Portugal despite his miss in their 0-0 draw with Austria.

Ronaldo spurned a golden chance to give Portugal their first win of Euro 2016 when he hit the post from 12 yards after being pulled down by Martin Hinteregger.

The stalemate leaves Portugal third in Group F with two points from as many games but Santos is keeping the faith with Ronaldo ahead of a crucial group-stage finale with Hungary on Wednesday.

“If there is a penalty in the next game, Cristiano Ronaldo will take it and he will score,” Santos told reporters.

“He is used to scoring goals, he is a winner and he also reacts well when he makes a mistake. That is what we expect from him.”

Raphael Guerreiro netted a free-kick in a 3-0 win over Norway prior to the tournament, putting some pressure on Ronaldo as the first choice from dead balls.

But Santos said: “Cristiano always wants to take the free kicks and it has always been him who has taken them. If Raphael had not scored that goal, nobody would be talking about this.

“We played really well against Austria without scoring and we have to continue with this attitude. We made Austria, who are ranked 10th in the world, look like a small team.”

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