For Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as for Portugal, it was the first-ever win at a Euro Cup, but for once, the credit for the victory did not belong to the best-known player on the football circuit, but to Eder, the man who in the extra time, turned a scoreless tie into a triumph for Portugal.
The only goal in the 1-0 match took 109 minutes to materialize, but Portugal managed to hold on to their lead and refused hosts France the chance to equalize, securing their place as the champions of Europe for 2016.
Portuguese captain Ronaldo couldn’t live up to the hopes his country had pinned on him, debilitated by a knee-injury resulting from a clash with France’s Dimitri Payet, which saw him in tears, being unceremoniously carried off the field on a stretcher in the 25th minute.
Several opportunities to score were created for both teams but neither of them managed to take advantage. Portuguese keeper Rui Patricio, who was declared ‘Man of the Match’, and excellent defender Pepe, foiled several attempts on goal from ‘dangerman’ Antoine Griezmann, who was supposed to be the ace in the French pack.
The only time it looked like France could get a goal was when striker Andre-Pierre Gignac turned Pepe but the effort ended in vain when he scuffed the shot, with the ball only rolling against the post. France had hoped to hold on to the title of Euro champions, but in the end, it was a case of ‘C’est la vie’.