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Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016 final

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Portugal overcame the early loss of captain Cristiano Ronaldo to beat hosts France in the Euro 2016 final and win their first major tournament thanks to substitute Eder’s superb extra-time strike.

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was carried off in tears in the 25th minute at Paris’ Stade de France, eight minutes after injuring his knee in a clash with France’s Dimitri Payet.

Portugal's Renato Sanches jumps on teammates after Eder scores.
Portugal’s Renato Sanches jumps on teammates after Eder scores.

France, the firm favourites, were unable to capitalise on Ronaldo’s absence, although they almost won it at the end of normal time when substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac turned and hit the inside of the post.

Raphael Guerreiro hit the bar with a free-kick for Portugal after 108 minutes, but seconds later they were ahead when Eder fired a low, 25-yard drive past keeper Hugo Lloris.

 

Man of the match – Rui Patricio (Portugal)

Rui Patricio
Portugal keeper Rui Patricio produced a string of fine saves to frustrate France, with Antoine Griezmann twice thwarted by the Sporting Lisbon player. Olivier Giroud was another who was denied by Patricio as Portugal kept France at bay.

Portugal may have been unspectacular winners of an unspectacular Euro 2016 – they won only one game in 90 minutes.

But this tough, resilient, organised team under coach Santos were justified in the wild celebrations that took place in front of their fans at Stade de France after the trophy presentation.

They finished third in their group, edged out of second place by Iceland’s last-minute winner against Austria, a result that led to England’s downfall in the last 16.

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