Euro 2016 Final: France Fluff Lines As Hard-Working Portugal Lift Trophy In Paris (Photos & Highlights)

Alan Duffy

10th, July 2016

Ahead of the Euro 2016 final, the Stade De France was visited upon by a plague of moths (after the lights had been left on all night). However, for most of the subsquent 120 minutes of play, the moths provided more entertainment than the players on the pitch.

Still, it would all end with France fluffing their lines in front of their home fans and Portugal finally lifting a major trophy.

The hosts started the game brightly, with Moussa Sissoko bright throughout the first period.

The game was only seven minutes old when a pumped up Dimitri Payet hit Ronaldo with a hard but fair tackle. The superstar would eventually go down in tears, after suffering a knee injury in the challenge.

Ronaldo would come back on after treatment but on 24 minutes, the Portugal captain’s night was over, with the player understandably distraught.

With Ricardo Quaresma on in place of Ronaldo, Portugal settled and stifled the French for the rest of the second-half, while carrying a goal threat themselves when they pushed forward.

Soon after the re-start, French boss Didier Deschamps replaced Payet with winger Kingsley Coman as he looked to up the pressure on the Portuguese backline.

France pushed for the opener, with Griezmann heading over when he really should have scored.

Deschamps took off Oliver Giroud, replacing him with Andre-Pierre Gignac while Fernando Santos replacing the tiring Renato Sanches with ex-Swansea attacker Eder.

As the half progressed, Portugal’s belief grew. However, right at the death, chunky hitman Gignac produced a superb turn in the box before firing against post, meaning the game would ultimately go to extra-time.

The first period of extra-time produced little in the way of excitement, with both sides tiring.

Soon after the re-start, Portugal hit the frame of the goal, courtesy of a Raphael Guerreiro free-kick, after Laurent Koscielny was wrongly adjudged to have handled the ball.

Then, on 109 minutes, Eder outmuscled Koscielny before firing home a cracking effort from long-range, which beat the diving Hugo Lloris.

French tried to get back on level terms but ultimately, it was Portugal who would bury the ghost of Euro 2004 and lift the trophy in Paris.

Overall, this was by no means the best Euro finals ever, but despite the dour finale, there was drama until the very end, with a very, very unlikely hero.

Highlights to follow…

(Highlights: Footytube)

Posted in Euro 2016, International football, Videos

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