Portugal win Euro 2016 thanks to Eder’s extra-time goal

PARIS: Substitute Eder’s thunderous finish deep into extra time secured Portugal’s first European 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 metres 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.

So much of the build-up had focused on Ronaldo and his hopes of crowning a glittering career with the only achievement missing from his CV, a piece of international silverware.

The script had been written for him to produce a performance to match his status as one of the game’s truly great talents, but he had to settle for a back-stage role after Dimitri Payet’s challenge left him in a heap on the floor.

Prior to his departure, it had been a fast-paced start with France’s Moussa Sissoko a bullish presence in midfield, frequently charging through tackles and bursting into the box.

His 34th-minute shot was well-parried by Patricio, but by that point the match had settled into a pattern of France probing and pushing but struggling to break down their more defensively-minded opponents.

Without Ronaldo, Portugal seemed in no hurry to rush the ball forward, happy to see the game descend into a cagey, tactical battle.

They had a scare, however, in the 67th minute when Kingsley Coman’s cross found Antoine Griezmann unmarked six metres from goal, only for the tournament’s top scorer to head a golden opportunity over.

Minutes later, Olivier Giroud, fed by sprightly substitute Coman, forced a diving save from Patricio, who then parried away a pile-driver from Sissoko as France turned the screw.

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