Eder's extra-time stunner makes Portugal the king of Europe
Cristiano Ronaldo was stretchered off in tears but the substitute Eder won the European Championship for Portugal with a brilliant extra-time goal
Portugal have won their first European Championship – and first major trophy – after beating France 1-0 in extra time at the Stade de France in Paris.
Cristiano Ronaldo was stretchered off in tears but the substitute Eder won the European Championship for Portugal with a brilliant extra-time goal.
Twelve years after losing 1-0 to Greece as hosts of Euro 2004, Portugal inflicted the same fate on France, who were seeking a relieving victory eight months on from the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.
France was aiming a fourth major tournament win, and third on home soil after winning Euro 1984 and the 1998 World Cup. But it was Ronaldo’s Portugal who prevailed.
Right after kick-off France had put Portugal under considerable pressure. Dimitri Payet and Moussa Sissoko continuously created problems in the third half. Antoine Griezmann picked up space and Paul Pogba frequently galloping forward with that long, leggy stride. But Portugese defence lead by Pepe stood firmly without allowing French to create a clear chance.
Both the teams created an early chance with Nani shooting over for Portugal, tournament top scorer Antoine Griezmann’s header drawing a fine finger-tip save from Rui Patricio -- before Ronaldo took centre-stage.
A knee-on-knee challenge by Payet in the eighth minute left him writhing on the turf and after attempting to play on, he dropped to the ground in the 16th minute, tears filling his eye.
Ronaldo re-entered the fray four minutes later having his knee heavily strapped. But in the 23rd minute Portugal captain was carried off, and replaced by Ricardo Quaresma, the whole stadium rose to applaud.
Sissoko and the substitute Coman were brilliant going forward but the rest of their team-mates failed to support them.
In the second half France and Portugal created some good chances but failed to find the net. Both the goal-keepers were brilliant under the bars.
When the game progressed France had lost their early momentum, looking increasingly short of ideas.Star striker Olivier Giroud once agains failed. Giroud’s only real attempt came shortly before his substitution but Patrício kept out the shot and produced an even better save in the 84th minute to turn away Sissoko’s powerful drive.
In between, Lloris clawed away Nani’s cross from beneath his crossbar and then caught Ricardo Quaresma’s follow-up effort. The game was belatedly opening up and André-Pierre Gignac, Giroud’s replacement, nearly won the game in stoppage time after he hit the bar before turning inside Pepe in the penalty area.
Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro struck the crossbar with a free-kick at the start of the second period and, a couple of minutes later substitute Eder with a magnificent strike scored a goal that will remain in his memory forever.