Portugal has won the 2016 European Championship after beating hosts France in the final. Eder scored the only goal of the game in extra time while France having created more clear cut chances failed to score and have themselves to blame for the defeat. Ronaldo only lasted 25 minutes after early injury forced him out.
France took on Portugal in the final of 2016 UEFA Euro in what was a very highly anticipated game. Portugal dealt an early blow when Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to withdraw from the game after suffering a calf injury. He left the game in tears in first half. France as expected dominated to proceedings but Portugal as so often in the tournament hanged in there and looked dangerous on counter attacks. Game was still 0-0 at the break but France were growing as the game wore on. Late in the extra time, Portugal found themselves unlikely hero in Eder whos low hard strike in the bottom corner to seal the very first major international title for Portugal.
France 0-1 Portugal
[ European Championship 2016 Final ]
109′ 1 – 0 Eder struck a low hard driver in the bottom corner to put Portugal in lead with just 10 minutes to play for in extra time.
Absolute marathon of a game and on both teams pretty much canceled each other out for most part and it was a game where one goal would be enough to win the title. That was the case as Eder’s wonderful strike from outside the box put Portugal in lead with minutes to play for.
France had their chances probably the best chances in the game but they failed to score from the two three good chances they had. It took a moment of magic from Eder who has never scored a competitive international goal before to win the game and the cup. Portugal became first team in history to win the major title with only winning 1 game in normal time.
All in all it was a underwhelming final and France will have regrets having hit the cross bar not once but twice. But credit to Portugal they like defending and they put in massive effort even without their star man Ronaldo.
Pepe played key role to keep France attack at bay. He later named man of the match for his absolute colossus performance in the final.
Portugal qualified for the final after beating Wales 2-0 in the first semifinal and it was their first win in the tournament in normal time while France pretty much outplayed Germany and won the game 2-0 thanks to a brace from golden boot hopeful Antoine Griezmann who has 6 goals to his name and should win the top scorer award regardless of the result. Hi nearest rival are Nani and Ronaldo both with three goals so far in the tournament.
Portugal has been underwhelming for majority of the tournament but they somehow managed to sneak into the finals after three lackluster draws in group stages, two penalty shoot out wins in round of 16 and quarterfinals followed by their performance against Wales. Now its hard to predict which Portugal will take the field come Sunday.
While we can safely assume a confident French side who has been playing better and better as the tournament progressed. Griezmann vs Ronaldo comparison is inevitable leading up to the tournament and looking at their recent performances little frenchmen is more likely to have a major impact in the final.
Team News & Lineups: France started with Moussa Sissoko in midfield and Samuel Umtiti in defence and both played superb football against Germany leaving Didier Deschamps with major headach of team selection. We can expect unchanged lineup which took the field against Germany. Portugal on the other hand rely heavily on their very mobile and powerful midfield where Renato Sanches has emerged as key player while William Carvalho and Pepe will return right back into starting lineup after their suspensions.
France has beaten Portugal in all three of their previous encounters in major tournaments and 10 consecutive meeting overall and should go into the game heavy favorites specially playing at home. But we all know Portugal can mix up their game when needed. Ronaldo has yet to have a major impact in a game and the final might just be his night but for Portugal to win they need a perfect performance from the team not only in attacking terms to get goal or two but also retaining french loaded attack. I am going with a narrow win for France in this one.