GAME OF FOOTBALL – How Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016

Euro 2016

Portugal won Euro 2016 after Eder’s superb extra-time strike gave them a 1-0 victory over hosts France in Paris, despite Cristiano Ronaldo coming off injured in the first half.

Former Swansea striker Eder, who came on as a late second-half replacement for Renato Sanches, struck low into the bottom corner past Hugo Lloris from 25 yards to hand Portugal their first-ever major tournament crown in dramatic fashion on Sunday.

The sight of Portugal’s captain Ronaldo in tears after being substituted with a knee injury after 25 minutes was undoubtedly the key moment from a tame first half, though the majority of half-chances fell to France.

In the second half, unmarked Antoine Griezmann’s glancing header went just over the bar from close range, before substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac hit the post in stoppage time.

Portugal had the better chances in extra-time, hitting the post through Ricardo Quaresma’s free-kick before Eder’s stunning winner, his first competitive international goal.

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The victory also means Fernando Santos’ side ended a 41-year winless streak against the French, which included the infamous 1984 European Championship semi-final defeat in Marseille.

France went unchanged from the 2-0 semi-final win against Germany on Thursday, while Pepe came back into the Portugal side for Bruno Alves, and William Carvalho replaced Danilo.

After the lights of the Stade de France were left on overnight, a swarm of moths threatened to cause havoc in the build-up to the match, but the players looked undeterred in the early stages.

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Portugal had the first half-chance of the game, new Valencia signing Nani striking over the bar from the right corner of the area with a first-time half volley after Cedric Soares’ searching ball from deep.

Tournament top scorer Griezmann’s instinctive header inside the area looped towards the top corner moments later, only for Rui Patricio to acrobatically tip wide, before disaster struck for Ronaldo.

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner, hoping to lead Portugal to their first international success, came off worse after clashing knees with Dimitri Payet following a hefty but fair challenge from the West Ham man.

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