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Portugal win EURO 2016

Sunday 10th July , 2016 10:09 pm
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  • Portugal beat France 1-0 after extra time to win maiden major tournament
  • Substitute Éder scores long-range 109th-minute winner – his first ever competitive goal
  • Captain and all-time record scorer Cristiano Ronaldo goes off after 25 minutes
  • Both teams – André-Pierre Gignac and Raphael Guerreiro – denied by the woodwork
  • France’s first tournament defeat on home soil in 19 games, since 1960 third-place play-off

Portugal are UEFA EURO 2016 champions. The team that drew all three of their group games, that have won only once inside 90 minutes all tournament, beat hosts France after extra time to get their hands on a major trophy for the first time.

They did it without the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo, too, their captain forced off early in the first half through injury. Fernando Santos’s side clung on at times but, with their captain orchestrating things from the technical area as much as their coach by the end, they eventually provided the one moment of magic required. Éder’s fizzing 20-metre strike was too good.

It looked impossible after just eight minutes. Ronaldo continued at first after a heavy collision with Dimitri Payet but he was eventually replaced after 25 minutes. There were tears and a standing ovation from all corners of the ground as he was taken off. All the talk, all the analysis, all the predictions – out the window. Off went 61 international goals.

One man looking for just his second was France midfielder Moussa Sissoko. The Newcastle man was rampant and threatened to break the deadlock soon after Ronaldo’s depature but his shot was saved.

Rui Patrício had earlier thwarted Antoine Griezmann, too, athletically tipping away the in-form striker’s looping header. Portugal had offered little, three passes straight out of play inside the opening two minutes setting the tone.

Kingsley Coman came on for Payet inside the hour and soon teed up Griezmann for surely the chance of the game – the Atlético striker was unmarked but headed over. Though Olivier Giroud briefly got in on the act with a low shot, Rui Patrício was once again up to the task. He had to be sharper still to keep out Sissoko’s thumping shot later in the half.

Only once, well into added time, was the Portugal keeper beaten. Substitute André-Pierre Gignac turned in the box and scuffed a shot into the ground which bobbled towards the net but bounced agonisingly back off a post.

Hugo Lloris had been far less employed in regulation time, only really called into action to claw away Nani’s miscued cross and then hold Ricardo Quaresma’s acrobatic effort from the rebound. Though he subsequently saved Éder’s header in extra time, the hosts’ captain was rescued by the crossbar when Raphael Guerreiro fired in a free-kick and could do nothing to keep out the sensational winner.

 

 

 

Source: UEFA

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