Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal beat hosts France 1-0 to win Euro 2016
Paris: Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal, which had never won any major soccer tournament title, upset hosts France 1-0 in the extra time of the breathtaking Euro 2016 final on Sunday night.
Portugal's players pose with the trophy as they celebrate after beating France during the Euro 2016 final football match at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Pic/AFP
In the history-making triumph, it was substitute forward Eder, who rarely scores for the national team, took a pass from Joao Moutinho in the 109th minute, cut onto his right, and unleashed the perfect strike towards the near-corner. France keeper and captain Hugo Lloris made a stretch but still failed to touch the ball.
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Cristiano Ronaldo, the talisman of the Portuguese team, got an injury only seven minutes into the game when French midfielder Dimitri Payet put in a challenge on him, and caught him with the follow-through, bringing play to a halt, Xinhua reported.
Although Ronaldo continued playing for some time, he had to be replaced by Ricardo Quaresma in the 25th minute.
Portugal's forward Eder celebrates after scoring a goal during the Euro 2016 final football match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. Pic/AFP
The injury cast a shadow over the match. France were back in possession. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko made several flash runs, as he injected a sudden burst of pace to send himself through.
Besides Sissoko, playmaker Antoine Griezmann who had scored six times to take the Golden Boot of the tournament, made huge threats to Portugal's defense. However, luck was not on his side.
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) and Portugal's forward Ricardo Quaresma pose with the trophy as they celebrate after beating France during the Euro 2016 final football match at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Pic/AFP
The statistics showed that France gained the upper hand with 56 percent ball possession and 7 on-target shots. But Portugal keeper Rui Patricio performed brilliantly to deny the hosts' willingness to win the battle in 90 minutes.
The tough duel witnessed six yellow cards for Portugal and four for the hosts.
France's supporters react following the Euro 2016 football tournament final match between Portugal and France at the fan zone in Lyon. Pic/AFP
This is the fourth meeting between Portugal and France in a major tournament. France have won the previous three, all in semifinals -- Euro 1984, Euro 2000 and the 2006 World Cup.
Portugal put in a defensive masterclass to deny the French the trophy on home soil. Fernando Santos' side, who have developed a flair for the dramatics, win their third match of the tournament in extra-time, after playing out to a sixth draw in seven games at Euro 2016.