11 Jul 2016

Portugal win European championship

11:56 am on 11 July 2016

Portugal have won the European Football Championship after beating hosts France 1-0 in the final.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo holds up the winners' trophy as he celebrates with (from left) Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe, Joao Moutinho and Adrien Silva.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo holds up the winners' trophy. Photo: AFP

Substitute Eder scored in extra-time to give Portugal its first major international title despite losing captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to injury.

Eder collected the ball in midfield, held off his marker and fired a low 25 metre drive past French keeper Hugo Lloris with 11 minutes of extra time left, to stun the Stade de France after the home team had dominated the match.

Ronaldo, Portugal's all-time leading scorer, went down after a heavy tackle from Dimitri Payet in the eighth minute but played on before being replaced by Ricardo Quaresma in the 25th minute.

France nearly snatched a win in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes when Andre-Pierre Gignac's shot rebounded off the post while Raphael Guerreiro hit the crossbar with a free kick for Portugal in extra time.

Portugal's forward Eder (C) celebrates after scoring a goal with team mates during the Euro 2016 final football match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on July 10, 2016.

Portugal celebrate after the extra-time goal against France Photo: AFP

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 6m 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.

France's best chance of the night arrived in stoppage time when substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac turned his marker inside out before scuffing a shot past the keeper and against the post, with the ball bouncing across the face of goal and then out of harm's way.

While Portugal continued to sit back in extra time, they had the better chances with Eder's header parried by Hugo Lloris and Raphael Guerreiro striking the crossbar with a free kick before Eder's moment of magic.

France players (from left) defender Patrice Evra, goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, midfielder Paul Pogba and defender Eliaquim Mangala after the team's defeat.

France players (from left) defender Patrice Evra, goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, midfielder Paul Pogba and defender Eliaquim Mangala after the team's defeat Photo: AFP

Portugal supporters celebrate their team's victory at Terreiro do Paco square, Lisbon, after watching the final on a giant screen.

Portugal supporters celebrate after watching their team's victory on giant screens in Lisbon Photo: AFP

The Portuguese capital Lisbon eruped in jubiliation as the country won its first major international football championship.

Fireworks and music broke out across the Portuguese capital Lisbon where the game had been shown on giant screens on a blistering hot summer night.

There were huge crowds at Praca do Comercio, the main square in Lisbon and fans promised to party through the night.

Tear gas, water cannon used at fan zone

Late in the match, French police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of people trying to enter the fan zone at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to watch the final to prevent overcrowding.

The zone, where crowds can watch games on giant outdoor screens, was closed after reaching its maximum capacity of 90,000 at around 7pm, police said.

During the second half of the match, police used water cannons to keep people from trying to break in again while firefighters extinguished scooters and a car set ablaze just outside the fan zone.