Despite centerpiece superstar Cristiano Ronaldo being forced out with an early injury, Portugal has captured its first major international title, defeating France 1-0 in extra time to win Euro 2016.
France was aiming to win a third major title on home soil, following its triumphs in the 1984 European Championship and 1998 World Cup, and it looked good for Les Bleus when Ronaldo left in the 25th minute after hurting his left knee, but they were undone by an unlikely source.
Eder, who came on as a 79th-minute substitute, delivered the go-ahead strike for Portugal in extra time with a low blast that beat Hugo Lloris. Seemingly out of nothing, Eder took his chance from about 25 yards, and it stunned the host nation in the 109th minute. He had Portugal's best chance in the opening half of extra time as well, bouncing a header right at Lloris off a corner kick:
The story of the first half–and the game–was Ronaldo, who suffered the early injury after a tackle by Dimitri Payet. He re-entered the field only to collapse again and be brought to tears. He attempted to play through it yet again despite being in obvious discomfort, but he ultimately came off in the 25th minute and was replaced by Ricardo Quaresma, and he was stretchered off straight to the locker room:
With Ronaldo hurt and the Stade de France buzzing, France was on the front foot early. Star forward Antoine Griezmann, who entered the final with a Euro-best six goals, nearly had his seventh in the 10th minute. His agile header was destined for the upper left-hand corner, but Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a spectacular save to swat it over the bar:
Rui Patricio was at it again to deny Moussa Sissoko from close range later in the 34th minute, as France looked to take advantage of a stunned and shook Portugal playing without its leading man:
Griezmann nearly scored in the 66th minute, putting a flying header just over the bar after second-half substitute Kingsley Coman picked him out with a sublime cross from the left:
France had another great chance through Sissoko in the 84th, as he let one rip from long range, only to be denied by Rui Patricio again:
Andre-Pierre Gignac nearly won it for France in stoppage time, receiving a pass from Coman and cutting back on Pepe from close range, only to put his chance off the near post:
Ronaldo emerged from the locker room after the final whistle of regulation, returning to the sidelines just ahead of extra time to offer words of encouragement to his teammates:
The atmosphere was budding around France, both en route to the stadium and at homes, before the match as the French national team and Sissoko's son showed in the build-up to the game:
Opening ceremonies for the final were greater than your average reception, as you might imagine:
Stay tuned for more video of goals and other key moments from this championship bout.