Portugal produced a remarkable fightback to overcome ten-man France 4-1 on penalties after a 2-1 win in Clermont-Ferrand in the second leg of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off.
Cissé sent off
Luís Lourenço, Hélder Postiga, Mário Sérgio and Cristiano Ronaldo all converted their spot-kicks while only Bernard Mendy was on target for France as José Romão's side booked their place in next May's final tournament. Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Guimaraes, they repaired the damage of that result through goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Alves, sandwiching a strike from Djibril Cissé, whose evening ended prematurely when he was sent off moments before half-time.
Raymond Domenech's France side had not conceded a home goal in the tournament prior to this match, while Portugal had not failed to score so something had to give. And after Cissé had shot narrowly wide on four minutes, France's defensive record was soon undone. After 20 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo collected a pass from Ricardo Quaresma, turned towards goal and beat goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau with a low shot.
On 42 minutes, Cissé drew France level, scoring with a low shot into the far corner after a one-two with Bernard Mendy. However, the Auxerre man promptly earned himself a red card in the dying seconds of the half by kicking out at right-back Mário Sérgio off the ball.
Bruno Alves header
With Raúl Meireles impressing in midfield for Portugal, France struggled to impose themselves in the second period and Portugal levelled the tie in the 75th minute, as defender Bruno Alves outjumped Aliou Diarra at the near post to head past Penneteau, following a Quaresma corner.
Extra time came and Cristiano Ronaldo went closest to settling the match with a shot against the post. Portugal would not be denied, however, and after Philippe Mexès and Patrice Evra had failed from the penalty spot, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to seal their victory.