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Portugal stun host France to win Euro 2016

Associated Press Associated Press 10/07/2016 By Ron Harris

Portugal overcame the loss of injured captain Cristiano Ronaldo to beat France 1-0 in the Euro 2016 final, with a goal in extra-time from substitute Eder securing their country's first football title.

Just as the final looked destined for a penalty shootout, Eder cut through the French defence and struck a low shot from 25 metres (yards) past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 109th minute at the Stade de France.

"Ronaldo said 'you must score the winning goal'," substitute Eder said.

"It was great to score the winning goal but what was decisive was the team performance."

Twelve years after losing to Greece on home soil in their last final appearance, it was Portugal's turn to spoil the host nation's party.

They achieved it by winning only one of their seven games at Euro 2016 inside 90 minutes.

It was dull and stodgy at times but the record books will only show that Portugal went from third in their group to champion, with little help from Ronaldo in their last match.

European football's biggest match lost its biggest name midway through the first half of a cagey final on the outskirts of the French capital.

Ronaldo went down under Dimitri Payet's ninth-minute challenge and was twice forced off to receive treatment on the touchline.

However determined Ronaldo was to lead Portugal to glory, his left knee could cope no more and he was carried off on a stretcher midway through the first half.

Ronaldo was in tears but he returned just before extra time to address his weary teammates.

They seemed to be inspired by Ronaldo's re-emergence and the Real Madrid forward was soon leaping off the bench in celebrations.

Then he was lying on the turf again at the final whistle, this time in disbelief rather than pain.

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