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Euro 2016 Final: Late Eder strike gives Portugal unexpected win

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A younger, fitter and stronger Portugal side sans an injured Cristiano Ronaldo saw off wave after wave off French pressure before scoring the only goal of the game through the unlikeliest of sources, French based Portuguese striker Eder, who rifled in a shot from 30 yards past the outstretched hand of Hugo Lloris in the France goal to give Portugal a 1-0 win in the Euro 2016 Final.

France, who played their semi-final a day after Portugal, named an unchanged starting eleven for this game, a decision that would prove costly in the long run as their players simply ran out of gas in the latter stages of the contest. Portugal meanwhile welcomed back Real Madrid star Pepe and young midfield sensation William Carvalho from injury and suspension, with both men having an absolutely sensational game.

Amazingly enough the first chance of the game fell to the right boot of Nani, who snaked into a goalscoring position, but his ambitious first time effort was high.

The next 20 minutes or so involved the drama of Cristiano Ronaldo's injury, with the Portuguese legend having suffered a clash of knees with Dmitri Payet and after two attempts to return to the pitch, the veteran forward called time on his contribution to the game after 25 minutes, much to the disappointment of the Portuguese fans.

France on their part had made a bright start to the game with Moussa Sissoko proving their most influential player in midfield. The Newcastle United midfielder was full of running, and tested Rui Patricio a few times in the Portugal goal, but the shot stopper proved equal to everything thrown his way.

The second half continued to be all about France with Golden Boot winner Antoine Griezmann missing a glorious chance to put the hosts ahead, planting his header from substitute Kingsley Coman's cross narrowly over Patricio's crossbar when it looked easier to score. The Atletico Madrid forward had drawn an excellent save from Patricio in the first half too from a header, but this time the goal was his for the taking.

The chances continued to come France's way with Olivier Giroud having a shot saved by Patricio, while his replacement Pierre-Ander Gignac could have won it for France late in injury time, hitting the post with his shot after leaving Pepe on his backside and beating Patricio at his near post.

Portugal's defence regained its shape in extra time as France began to tire and when it looked like this match seemed destined for penalties, Portugal appeared to find another gear, with their French born left-back Raphael Guerreiro hitting the crossbar from an erroneously awarded freekick.

Laurent Koscielny, the Arsenal defender, who had just been incorrectly booked by English referee Mark Clattenburg for a non-existent hand-ball offence, was shrugged off by Eder, and having just been yellow carded, couldn't bring him down.

Eder having shrugged off the attentions of Koscielny, took aim and struck the ball from distance even as rookie defender Samuel Umtiti jumped and turned his back to the ball. The 28 year old Lille striker's shot raced off the turf into the corner of Lloris' net, giving the Tottenham keeper absolutely no chance.

France responded by finally throwing on a fresh player in Anthony Martial, but even with the extra striker on the pitch, the hosts were just too rattled and failed to really put together anything of note in the last 10 minutes.

The match ended 1-0 to Portugal, who celebrated the first ever major trophy in their history, with Eder writing his name into the history books forever.


France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko (Martial 109'), Griezmann, Payet (Coman 58'); Giroud (Gignac 78').

Substitutes: Jallet, Rami, Kante, Cabaye, Gignac, Martial, Schneiderlin, Mangal, Mandanda, Digne, Coman, Costil.

Portugal: Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; William Carvalho; Renato Sanches (Eder 79'), Adrien Silva (Moutinho 67'), Joao Mario; Nani, Ronaldo (Quaresma 25').

Substitutes: Bruno Alves, Carvalho, Moutinho, Eder, Vierinha, Anthony Lopes, Danilo, Andre Gomes, Rafa Silva, Eliseu, Ricardo Quaresma, Eduardo.

Final Score: France 0-1 Portugal (Eder 109')