PARIS, Sporting Alert – Portugal managed to shrug off an early injury to captain and star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to win their first-ever major tournament trophy after lifting the Euro 2016 title on Sunday and we will take a look a how the team got there.
The world number eight ranked nation opened Euro 2016 with a less than productive 1-1 draw with Iceland in its Group F opener in Saint-Etienne and then failed to score in a 0-0 tie with Austria in the second match.
Ronaldo inspired his team to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Hungary in the final Group F game, as Portugal, which failed to win a single game in group play, took advantage of an expanded tournament to snatch one of the qualifying spots outside of the top three finishers.
In the Round of 16 in Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Ricardo Quaresma came on as a substitute to net the game winner in extra time in a 1-0 victory over Croatia.
Quaresma then converted the winning penalty for his team in a 5-3 shootout win over Poland in the quarterfinals, after both teams finished regulation and extra time knotted at 1-1.
That win set up an enticing match-up between Real Madrid teammates Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, as Wales and Portugal were drawn together in the semi-final at Stade de Lyon.
In the end, it was a comfortable victory for the Portuguese with Ronaldo and Nani providing the goals.
It then all came down to one final game on Sunday, and host nation France was the bookies pre-game favourite.
However, the hosts big guns failed to fire, despite creating numerous chances, and after defending for much of the contest, Portugal snatched the victory, thanks to substitute’s Éder 109th-minute long-range strike.
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Portugal’s Road To Euro 2016 Victory
Matches and Fixtures
Stade de France Saint-Denis
PORTUGAL 1-0 FRANCE (a.e.t.)
10 July 2016
Stade de Lyon Lyon
PORTUGAL 2-0 WALES
06 July 2016
Stade Vélodrome Marseille
POLAND 1-1 PORTUGAL (3-5 p)
30 June 2016
Round of 16
Stade Bollaert-Delelis Lens Agglo
CROATIA 0-1 PORTUGAL (a.e.t.)
25 June 2016
Stade de Lyon Lyon
HUNGARY 3-3 PORTUGAL Group F
22 June 2016
Parc des Princes Paris
PORTUGAL 0-0 AUSTRIA Group F
18 June 2016
Stade Geoffroy Guichard Saint-Etienne
PORTUGAL 1-1 ICELAND Group F
14 June 2016