Unfancied Portugal win Euro 2016
PARIS – Substitute Eder’s thunderous finish deep into extra time secured Portugal’s first European Football Championship title after they overcame the early loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to snatch a 1-0 smash-and-grab victory over hosts France on Sunday.
Eder picked the perfect moment to score his first competitive goal for his country, marauding forward before letting fly with a bullet shot from 25 meters in the 109th minute.
It was a cruel blow for France, who had dominated the match from and squandered a number of chances, in front of their devastated home support, who arrived at the Stade de France hoping to celebrate a third European crown.
The trophy was lifted by Ronaldo, who broke down in tears at the final whistle but whose game had come to a frustrating end after 24 minutes when he was carried crying from the pitch on a stretcher with a knee injury.
“There was a lot of suffering, a very intense game. We fought very hard,” Portugal defender Pepe said.
“We had to work very hard and be more humble than the other team, that’s the only way to win. We left it all out there, it’s the only way to win. We represented Portugal, a beautiful country of immigrants and we represent every one of them. This goes out them,” he added.
“It was tough to lose our main man. The man who could at any moment score a goal.” (Reuters)