Final, 1-0 Portugal: The referee blows the final whistle. Portugal is the European champion in 2016.
Portugal celebrates its first-ever major title on a night of high drama on the outskirts of Paris. The tension reached fever pitch early on, starting with Ronaldo’s injury, and continued through a lively, albeit fruitless, second half and beyond. Eder’s unlikely heroics finally ended the deadlock in extra time, and France lacked the energy, guile and quality to solve the puzzle that was Portugal’s determined defense.
France is stunned, having come so close to victory via Gigac’s shot off the post near the end of normal time. Les Bleus out-possessed, out-passed and out-shot Portugal but still found themselves on the losing end of a tight result.
Portugal has book-ended one the lowest points in its history by reversing the result from 12 years ago.
That’s all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion coming up on NESN.com/soccer.
120th minute, 1-0 Portugal: The referee shows Patricio a yellow card for time wasting.
120th minute, 1-0 Portugal: There will be two minutes of added time in the second half of extra time.
118th minute, 1-0 Portugal: Rafael is struggling with an injury. It looks like he can’t continue.
Oh wait. Ronaldo urges him back into the game.
115th minute, 1-0 Portugal: The referee shows Pogba a yellow card.
112th minute, 1-0 Portugal: France is throwing players forward, but Portugal’s defenders and Patricio repel the hosts’ best efforts.
110th minute, 1-0 Portugal: France makes its final substitution. Antony Martial replaces Sissoko.
109th minute, 1-0 Portugal: Eder scores, and Portugal leads with just a few minutes remaining in extra time.
Eder held off Koscielny and shot from 25 yards out. Lloris dove in vain, but it rolled inside the post.
Eder’s fourth goal for Portugal is his biggest yet.
108th minute, 0-0: Raphael hits the crossbar with a free kick. Now the post denies Portugal of a likely game-winner.
106th minute, 0-0: Matuidi appears to boot Moutinho in the face, but the referee declines to show the France midfielder his second yellow card.
105th minute, 0-0: The first half of extra time ends. It’s still goal-less.
Portugal had the best chance of the period, but Lloris’ cat-like reflexes have kept the game goalless.
104th minute, 0-0: Eder heads Quaresman’s corner kick on goal, but Lloris makes a terrific reflex save.
103th minute, 0-0: The teams have exchanged corner kicks and crosses in this first period of extra time, but quality has been sorely lacking.
98th minute, 0-0: Carvalho receives a yellow card for tripping Coman.
Tired legs and minds are taking over, as the referee cautions three players in quick succession.
97th minute, 0-0: Blaise Matuidi receives a yellow card for crashing into Eder, instead of challenging for the ball in the air.
95th minute, 0-0: Guerreiro receives a yellow card.
95th minute, 0-0: Pepe heads Quaresma’s free kick narrowly wide. It wouldn’t have counted, as Pepe was offside.
91st minute, 0-0: The first half of extra time is under way.
Past trends meet their present counterparts.
End of normal time, 0-0: The Euro 2016 final heads to extra time.
This is the first time a Euro final has ended goalless after 90 minutes and the first final to reach extra time since 2000.
France won that year on a golden goal.
This time there will be two, 15-minute periods of extra time.
Les Bleus might be disappointed having not won this game in normal time. France had more possession and better goal-scoring chances and have nothing to show for it. Portugal did next to nothing without Ronaldo’s services.
90th minute +2, 0-0: Gignac hits the post from a tight angle. Portugal narrowly avoids further heartbreak.
90th minute, 0-0: There will be three minutes of added time in the second half.
84th minute, 0-0: Patricio saves Sissoko’s powerful shot from 25 yards out. Great shot, better stop.
81st minute, 0-0: Portugal is going for goal now, as Nani shoots wide from 25 yards out.
80th minute, 0-0: Lloris swats Nani’s cross into his goal-mouth. The rebound reaches Quaresma, who acrobatically volleys it on target. Lloris is well-positioned and saves Quaresma’s effort.
79th minute, 0-0: Portugal makes its final substitution. Sanches exits. Eder enters.
78th minute, 0-0: France makes another change in the attacking department, as Andre-Pierre Gignac replaces Giroud.
76th minute, 0-0: Hugo Lloris has been a virtual spectator since Nani bore down on him early in the first half.
75th minute, 0-0: Coman finds Giroud inside Portugal’s penalty area, but Patricio saves the France striker’s shot.
72nd minute, 0-0: Griezmann’s corner kick floats into a dangerous area, but Evra can’t redirect it on goal.
67th minute, 0-0: Coman shoots wide, as France maintains its attacking intent.
66th minute, 0-0: Portugal makes its second substitution, replacing Adrian Silva with Joao Moutinho.
66th minute, 0-0: Griezmann’s glancing header misses over the crossbar by inches. Coman created the chance for his France teammate.
62nd minute, 0-0: Mario receives a yellow card for tripping Giroud and preventing a counter-attack.
60th minute, 0-0: We thought one of the teams would have scored by now.
58th minute, 0-0: Koman slips a pass onto Griezmann’s run. The Euro 2016 top scorer shoots on goal, but his effort lacks the pace and accuracy necessary to beat Patricio.
58th minute, 0-0: France makes its first substitution, replacing Payet with Kingsley Coman.
56th minute, 0-0: Samuel Umtiti clears Joao Mario’s dangerous cross out for a corner kick.
54th minute, 0-0: Paul Pogba has had an understated final so far. The France midfielder fires his first shot off target.
50th minute, 0-0: The teams have started the second half on equal footing, with the game largely stuck in the middle third of the field.
The teams’ attacks have lacked the sharpness, invention and final ball required to create genuine chances so far.
46th minute, 0-0: The second half is under way.
France has taken its time to score goals throughout Euro 2016? Will its late-scoring ways continue in the final?
Halftime, 0-0: The referee ends the first half. It’s goalless at the Stade de France.
Ronaldo’s tragic injury is the only thing that could overshadow the first half of a major international final, but there you have it. The Portugal superstar suffered a knee injury in the eighth minute, tried to play on but departed the game after 25 minutes. His tears drew sympathy, and jokes (of course), from all corners of the Internet and soccer world.
Meanwhile, the teams played an opening period in which France was dominant but failed to overrun Portugal. Sissoko and Griezmann had France’s best chances, but Patricio’s fine form has prevented the hosts from taking the lead.
Portugal must adjust in the second half or risk France earning its rewards for the advantage it has built on balance of play.
45th minute, 0-0: There will be two minutes of added time in the first half.
39th minute, 0-0: Olivier Giroud tries to head Payet’s cross on goal, but a defender disrupts him. The ball flies harmlessly into Patricio’s hands.
38th minute, 0-0: Portugal gains a temporary respite from France’s pressure, as Raphael Guerreiro’s shot deflects out for a corner kick.
34th minute, 0-0: The referee shows Cedric a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Payet.
34th minute, 0-0: Patricio makes another fine save. This time the Portugal goalkeeper denies Sissoko’s powerful shot from a tight angle.
30th minute, 0-0: The show must go on without Ronaldo.
France continues to press for the opening goal, but a deep-lying defense blocks Sissoko’s attempted cross out for a corner kick.
25th minute, 0-0: Ricardo Quaresma replaces Ronaldo, whom the stretcher-bearers bring into the tunnel for further treatment and tests.
23rd minute, 0-0: Ronaldo has thrown his captain’s arm-band to the ground and sat down next to it.
The referee signals for the stretchers.
Head coach Fernando Santos must replace Portugal’s captain, talisman and all-time leading goal-scorer. We’re struggling to describe the scale of Ronaldo’s heart-break right now.
22nd minute, 0-0: Moussa Sissoko dribbles 30 yards toward Portugal’s goal and fires a shot on target. Patricio saves it out for a corner kick.
20th minute, 0-0: Ronaldo returns to the game. He appears to be hobbling, but it doesn’t take a genius to know how badly he wants to play in this final.
18th minute, 0-0: Portugal trainers are escorting Ronaldo to the sidelines. We don’t think he can continue.
17th minute, 0-0: Ronaldo is back down on the ground. His Euro 2016 final might just end in tears.
13th minute, 0-0: France has been the better side in the first quarter-hour but haven’t been able to translate its advantages into goals.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo is moving gingerly following the knock he took on his knee.
10th minute, 0-0: Giroud heads the corner kick on goal, but it’s too close to Patricio, who gathers it.
Portugal escape unscathed after a pair of promising France goal-scoring chances.
10th minute, 0-0: Griezmann heads Payet’s delicate cross on goal, but Patricio makes a fine save.
Ninth minute, 0-0: Ronaldo is back on his feet and ready to re-enter the game. There’s no way he’d limp out of a contest of this magnitude … unless he has to.
Eighth minute, 0-0: Ronaldo is down in apparent pain following a collision with Dimitri Payet.
Seventh minute, 0-0: Griezmann finds space inside Portugal’s penalty area but shoots wide of Rui Patricio’s goal.
France is causing Portugal discomfort by attacking and defending aggressively.
Fourth minute, 0-0: Nani runs onto a pass over the top of France’s back line but shoots over the goal in the game’s first scoring attempt.
Third minute, 0-0: France has most of the early possession and uses it to pressure Portugal early on.
Kickoff: The Portugal-France Euro 2016 final is under way.
History suggests France is the favorite.
Pregame: France coach Didier Deschamps selects the same starting lineup he used in the quarterfinal win over Iceland and the semifinal victory over Germany. Having demonstrated attacking potency against Iceland and defensive resilience against Germany, France must deliver a complete and balanced performance to win the final.
Portugal’s William Carvalho and Pepe return to the starting lineup after missing the semifinal win over Wales due to suspension and injury, respectively.
Keep an eye on Portugal’s Renato Sanches. The teenage midfielder makes history by appearing in this final. Time will tell whether the occasion overwhelms him or he meets the challenge head on.
Sanches undoubtedly is Portugal’s next big thing, but Ronaldo remains front and center as his country’s captain and talisman.
Portugal has reached the final, despite only winning one of six Euro 2016 games in normal time. Portugal has steadily grown throughout the tournament but has yet to peak. There’s no time like the present for Portugal to play to its potential and show the world how good it can be.
2:30 p.m. ET: Here are the starting lineups:
2 p.m. ET: Only Portugal can prevent France from partying like it’s 1998.
The countries’ national soccer teams meet in the final of the 2016 UEFA European Championship on Sunday at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris toward which the soccer world now directs its undivided attention. The Portugal-France winner completes years of work toward the goal of assuming the throne of European soccer, while the loser must accept the pain of coming within minutes of glory only to fall at the last step.
France’s biggest soccer triumphs have come on home soil, with the country prevailing in both Euro 1984 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Beating Portugal will elevate the current “Bleus” into the mythical status of their conquering forefathers and advance France’s process of healing from the traumas of recent terror attacks and longstanding social divisions.
The Euro 2016 final also offers Portugal a chance to win its first Euro or World Cup title. Cristiano Ronaldo headlines Portugal’s golden generation of players, who reached the final of Euro 2004 as well as the semifinals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. Portugal lost each of those important games. Is now the time for Ronaldo to lead his country to victory and add a fresh chapter to his own legend? The million-plus France residents of Portuguese descent likely are pulling for him to do so.
Many of the players on display played key roles in their clubs’ pursuit of domestic titles and the 2016 UEFA Champions League title less than two months ago. Chief among them are Portugal’s Ronaldo and France’s Antoine Griezmann, who look to fire their national teams to the title, just as they did for clubs Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, respectively, in early June in the Champions League final. Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid on penalty kicks in that game.
Having already scored a tournament-high six goals, Griezmann is the odds-on favorite to claim Golden Boot honors, but the France forward undoubtedly eyes the biggest prize. Griezmann must first knock Ronaldo off his perch.
Portugal-France kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. Join us right here for all the action from the Stade de France.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/UEFA.tv
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