Portugal have beaten tournament hosts France to win Euro 2016, despite losing their talisman and captain Cristiano Ronaldo to injury in only the 25th minute of the encounter.
Although the hosts were the better side on the night, substitute Eder powered in a shot from distance in the 109th minute to claim an unlikely victory for the Portuguese as the new champions of Europe. In other words, it was a repeat of exactly what Greece did to them on home soil in 2004.
Portugal adopted the simple plan of resisting the inevitable fast start, keep the game tight and waiting for the home crowd to get nervous.
Ronaldo was tearful after he was injured by Dimitri Payet, but he attempted to play on with a heavily-bandaged knee. However, after one acceleration midway through the first half, Ronaldo signalled to the bench that he could not carry on and could not hide his despair as he was replaced by Ricardo Quaresma.
The game livened up a bit in the second half, though, as Portugal did better defensively but with few options going forward.
The best chance of the game till then came in the 66th minute. Pogba drilled a beautiful long pass to Coman on the left wing. He came infield and curled a cross that dipped over the head of a defender and found Griezmann six yards out. Somehow the tournamnet highest goal scorer headed it wide.
In the 80th minute, Nani’s mishit cross almost got in!
Lloris had to backpedal to flap it away, and was in position to catch Quaresma’s scissors kick on the follow-up.
And then, in the 90th minute, the goal nearly came. It was a brilliant piece of play from the French substitute Gignac.
He received a low cross from Evra at the near post, on the six-yard line, and turned ingeniously away from Pepe – not once but twice – before scuffing his shot past Patricio and onto the inside of the near post.
Seconds later, the final whistle went.
In extra time, received the ball with his back to goal on the left and with Koscielny tight against him. He held him off, charged infield and then, from 25 yards, smashed a fierce low shot that beat Lloris as he dived to his right!
It was a goal capable of winning a tournament – and it did just that.