PAIR, Sporting Alert – Portugal defeated host nation France to win the 2016 European Championship, after substitute Eder netted the winner in extra time in the 1-0 victory.
RONALDO INJURED, EDER HITS WINNER
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Captain and leading forward Cristiano Ronaldo watched most of the competition from the sideline, after the Real Madrid star was forced to leave the field on a stretcher in the 25th minute with a knee injury.
Swansea City forward Eder, who came on in the second half, blasted home from’ long-range to beat the diving Hugo Lloris, who was unable to get a touch on the ball, despite going full stretch.
The defeat was a huge disappointment for the home supporters, who turned out in their numbers to cheer the team throughout the contest.
It was also a disappointing final performance for France big stars, including Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann, who were all below par.
Griezmann failed to take a very good chance during regulation time, while striker Andre-Pierre Gignac hit the post in stoppage time.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio was also outstanding for Portugal, as he made a string of impressive saves to keep France off the score sheet.
RONALDO TOLD ME I WOULD SCORE THE WINNER
Meanwhile, after scoring the lone goal in the contest, match winner Eder admits that Ronaldo, who was a great motivator and sometimes an acting assistant coach next to Fernando Santos, told him that he would score the winning goal.
“(Ronaldo) told me I would score the winning goal for the team,” the striker who was brought on for Renato Sanches in the 79th minute was quoted as telling O Jogo.
“He gave me this strength, this energy and it was vital.
“It was a goal I’ve been working for from the first minute of the Euros.
“For all the work we did, for all of the Portuguese, it’s fantastic,” Eder added. “It’s well deserved and we should all be congratulated.”
Portugal, the 2004 beaten finalists at home against Greece, secured their first major title.
The newly crowned European champions also and ended a run of 10 straight defeats by France since 1975.
Euro 2016 Final Result
Portugal 1-0 France (AET)
Euro 2016 final at the Stade de France.
Goalscorer: Eder (Portugal) 109