Portugal overcame the early loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to beat France 1-0 in the final of Euro 2016 thanks to a stunning goal from subst...
Portugal overcame the early loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to beat France 1-0 in the final of Euro 2016 thanks to a stunning goal from substitute Eder.
Wednesday’s clash with Wales represented a seventh major tournament semi-final for Portugal, but brought with it progress for just the second time, 12 years on from the ignominy of falling to Greece at the end of the European Championship they hosted.
The roles reversed at the Stade de France as the underdogs ploughed on after Ronaldo’s first-half injury, making amends for the humiliation of 2004 by winning their first ever major trophy as Eder secured a 1-0 win.
The substitute struck the historic blow after 109 minutes, beating Hugo Lloris from distance as Swansea fans rubbed their eyes in disbelief given his underwhelming time in Wales.
This final was a fitting an end to Euro 2016 – a cagey tournament punctuated by moments of magic.
Top scorer Antoine Griezmann twice came close to producing his own during the 90 minutes and substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac saw a stoppage-time effort hit the post after Ricardo Quaresma tested Lloris with an acrobatic strike.
Portugal upped the ante in extra-time and Raphael Guerreiro’s free-kick rattled the crossbar, before Eder’s moment of magic.
Holding off Laurent Koscielny, the substitute made room to get away a low effort from 25 yards out that saw Fernando Santos’ hard-working side make history.
A similar roar welcomed the players onto the field – so too a swarm of moths – as a grandiose closing ceremony was replaced by spine-tingling renditions of the national anthems at the Stade de France.