Portugal have won Euro 2016, beating hosts France in extra time with Eder’s strike despite losing Cristiano Ronaldo to injury.
This is the first time Portugal have won a major tournament and they did it while only winning one game in 90 minutes (the 2-0 semi-final victory over Wales) and finishing third in their group.
Defender Pepe returned from injury and William Carvalho was recalled, while France fielded an unchanged side after defeating Germany 2-0, including Paul Pogba in an unusual holding midfielder role.
Les Bleus had won their previous 10 consecutive meetings with Portugal and had to be considered favourites as hosts too, but Ronaldo’s side proved themselves remarkably resilient, qualifying from the group with three draws.
Nani controlled a long ball and blasted over in the opening minutes, while Rui Patricio needed a fingertip save on Antoine Griezmann’s looping header.
Cristiano Ronaldo got an early bruise to his knee after a Dimitri Payet foul and tried to play on, but collapsed to the ground in tears when realising the pain was too much to continue. He underwent treatment, but ultimately had to be stretchered off.
Moussa Sissoko was running at the defenders like a battering ram and his fierce shot stung the goalkeeper’s gloves. Adrien Silva failed to make the most of good work from Renato Sanches and on the corner Jose Fonte nodded over.
Paul Pogba’s volley was off target, but Kingsley Coman came off the bench and immediately set up Griezmann’s angled drive, smothered by Rui Patricio.
Coman’s cross also found Griezmann for a free header that the tournament top scorer somehow nodded over from six yards.
Juventus-owned Coman, on a two-year loan with option to buy at Bayern Munich, was easily France’s most inspired player and set up Olivier Giroud to test Rui Patricio at the near post.
Portugal were dangerous on the counter and with 11 minutes left Hugo Lloris flapped a Nani cross-shot out from under the bar, fortunate to capture Ricardo Quaresma’s acrobatic follow-up.
A Sissoko scorcher from distance was beaten away, but neither side could get the breakthrough. Substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac thought he had won it for France deep into stoppages when he turned Pepe inside out and beat Rui Patricio, but thumped the base of the upright from six yards.
As with all but one of their games in this tournament, Portugal were level after 90 minutes, so the Euro 2016 Final went to extra time. It was the sixth European Championship Final to be decided in extra time, but the first to end goalless.
Pepe’s header was inches wide from a Quaresma free kick, but he was flagged offside anyway. Another set piece created danger, as Lloris parried the Eder header from a corner.
Raphael Guerreiro’s free kick dipped viciously over the wall to thump the underside of the bar, although it’s fortunate that didn’t go in because Mark Clattenburg had awarded it to the wrong side for handball.
Moments later, Eder shrugged off Laurent Koscielny to cut into the middle and unleashed a daisy-cutter from distance that flew into the near bottom corner, giving Portugal the victory. It was a remarkable moment for the substitute, who plays his club football in Lille, and Cristiano Ronaldo was hobbling with joy on the touchline with Coach Fernando Santos.
Portugal 1-0 France (aet)
Eder 109 (P)
Portugal: Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho; Renato Sanches (Eder 77), Adrien Silva (Joao Moutinho 66), Joao Mario; Nani, Ronaldo (Quaresma 25)
France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Sissoko (Martial 110), Pogba, Matuidi, Payet (Coman 57); Griezmann; Giroud (Gignac 77)
Ref: Clattenburg (ENG)
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