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Portugal break France to win first EURO

Portugal break France to win first EURO
Cristiano Ronaldo lifts the trophy with Portugal ©Getty Images

"We were as simple as doves and as wise as serpents," said coach Fernando Santos, summing up Portugal's rugged, methodical success at UEFA EURO 2016, Éder's extra-time goal enabling them to overcome hosts France and finally take the title after a final defeat on home soil in 2004.

They made it despite drawing all three of their group games, and won only once inside 90 minutes all tournament – beating Wales 2-0 in the semi-finals – but found the one necessary spike of inspiration to burst France's bubble in the decider, despite playing 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 Ronaldo 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 in the second half of extra time was just too good.

Such a scenario looked impossible after eight minutes, Ronaldo initially continuing after a heavy collision with Dimitri Payet before eventually being replaced. There were tears and a standing ovation from all corners as he was taken off. All the talk, all the analysis, all the predictions – out the window. Off went 61 international goals.

One man chasing only his second was Moussa Sissoko. The France midfielder was rampant and threatened to break the deadlock soon after Ronaldo's departure yet his shot was saved. Rui Patrício had earlier thwarted Antoine Griezmann, athletically tipping away the soon-to-be-crowned Player of the Tournament's looping header. Portugal offered little in those opening exchanges, three passes straight out of play encouraging the hosts.

Kingsley Coman came on for Payet inside the hour and soon teed up Griezmann for surely the chance of the game – Les Bleus' No7 was unmarked but headed over. Though Olivier Giroud briefly got in on the act with a low effort, Rui Patrício was again up to the task. He had to be sharper still to keep out Sissoko's thumping strike 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 only to bounce 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 attempt from the rebound. Though he subsequently dealt with Éder's header, the French captain was rescued by the crossbar when Raphael Guerreiro fired in a free-kick and, with 109 minutes on the clock, could do nothing to keep out the sensational winner.

Last updated: 26/05/17 9.24CET

https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/overview/index.html#portugal+break+france

2016

France

PortugalPortugal

The final - 10/07/2016

Portugal1-0France
  • Portugal win after extra time

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Team of the Tournament

 

Photos

  • Dimitri Payet (France)
    Dimitri Payet (France)
  • Fabian Schär (Switzerland)
    Fabian Schär (Switzerland)
  • Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales)
    Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales)
  • Vasili Berezutski (Russia)
    Vasili Berezutski (Russia)
  • Luka Modrić (Croatia)
    Luka Modrić (Croatia)
  • Arkadiusz Milik (Poland)
    Arkadiusz Milik (Poland)
  • Shkodran Mustafi & Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
    Shkodran Mustafi & Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
  • Spain players celebrate
    Spain players celebrate
  • Republic of Ireland v Sweden - Own goal
    Republic of Ireland v Sweden - Own goal
  • Italy celebrate
    Italy celebrate
  • Zoltan Stieber (Hungary)
    Zoltan Stieber (Hungary)
  • Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland)
    Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland)
  • Marek Hamšík (Slovakia)
    Marek Hamšík (Slovakia)
  • Admir Mehmedi (Switzerland)
    Admir Mehmedi (Switzerland)
  • Antoine Griezmann (France)
    Antoine Griezmann (France)
  • Daniel Sturridge & Danny Rose (England)
    Daniel Sturridge & Danny Rose (England)
  • Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland)
    Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland)
  • Poland celebrate
    Poland celebrate
  • Éder (Italy)
    Éder (Italy)
  • Tomáš Necid (Czech Republic)
    Tomáš Necid (Czech Republic)
  • Álvaro Morata (Spain)
    Álvaro Morata (Spain)
  • Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
    Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
  • Birkir Sævarsson (Iceland)
    Birkir Sævarsson (Iceland)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
  • Albania celebrate
    Albania celebrate
  • Johan Djourou (Switzerland)
    Johan Djourou (Switzerland)
  • Gareth Bale (Wales)
    Gareth Bale (Wales)
  • Matúš Kozáčik (Slovakia)
    Matúš Kozáčik (Slovakia)
  • Mario Gomez (Germany)
    Mario Gomez (Germany)
  • Jakub Błaszczykowski (Poland)
    Jakub Błaszczykowski (Poland)
  • Ozan Tufan (Turkey)
    Ozan Tufan (Turkey)
  • Ivan Perišić (Croatia)
    Ivan Perišić (Croatia)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
  • Arnor Ingvi Traustason (Iceland)
    Arnor Ingvi Traustason (Iceland)
  • Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland)
    Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland)
  • Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)
    Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)
  • Poland celebrate
    Poland celebrate
  • Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland)
    Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland)
  • Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal)
    Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal)
  • Antoine Griezmann (France)
    Antoine Griezmann (France)
  • Mario Gómez (Germany)
    Mario Gómez (Germany)
  • Belgium celebrate
    Belgium celebrate
  • Graziano Pellè (Italy)
    Graziano Pellè (Italy)
  • Iceland players celebrate
    Iceland players celebrate
  • Rui Patrício (Portugal)
    Rui Patrício (Portugal)
  • Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales)
    Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales)
  • Germany celebrate
    Germany celebrate
  • Olivier Giroud (France)
    Olivier Giroud (France)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
  • Antoine Griezmann (France)
    Antoine Griezmann (France)
  • Éder (Portugal)
    Éder (Portugal)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
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