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EURO2016: Ronaldo-less Portugal stun France to win Euro title

Portugal have been crowned European Champions by beating France 1-0 at the Stade de France in the final in Paris.

Fernando Santos' men were enormously brave to overcome the well-supported hosts with bit-part striker Eder producing the winning goal in extra-time.

Portugal lost captain and star player Cristiano Ronaldo to a knee injury in the 25th minute but were able to defy the odds to win their first major tournament following their defeat to Greece in Lisbon at Euro2004, lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy, coincidentally named after a Parisian.

French-based forward Eder, who recently joined Lille from Swansea City permanently, had replaced Renato Sanches with just over 10 minutes of regular time remaining and was the man who came up with the killer blow.

Eder received a ball from Joao Moutinho and held off any challengers as he worked his way forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the Hugo Lloris' bottom right corner.

France had the better of the opportunities earlier, namely in the 10th minute when Antoine Griezmann produced an instinctive looping header which forced a top quality save from Rui Patricio before Olivier Giroud's header from Dimitri Payet's ensuing corner was fired straight at the grateful Portugal keeper.

Moussa Sissoko was looking increasingly dangerous and did well to turn Adrien Silva before stinging the palms of Patricio in the 34th minute.

On 66 minutes, the competition's leading scorer Griezmann was unable to get his close range header on target prior to a double save from Lloris who parried away Nani's floating cross-shot before he safely held on to Ricardo Quaresma's acrobatic overhead follow-up.

In the 84th minute, Sissoko found time and space in midfield to unleash a fiercely struck effort goal-ward only for Patricio to produce another vital stop before France sub Andre-Pierre Gignac was inches away from being France's hero when turning Pepe and sitting him down before scuffing his shot into the upright.

Extra-time saw Portugal wrestle back the ascendency, setting the scene for a magical moment which came courtesy of a man who had played just 13 minutes of the tournament prior to tonight.

Eder's will be a name remembered forever in Portuguese football for his heroics in the French capital as Santos' men of war conquered Didier Deschamps' high-flying Les Bleus who will simply have to lick their wounds.

Euro2016 - Final

Portugal: 1 (Eder 109')
France: 0
Stade de France, Paris - 75,868

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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