The Greek Miracle of Portugal led By Santos
uefa euro 2016 - final
|Portugal||1 - 0||France|
Like Greece did in 2004, Portugal ruined the party for the hosts by stunning France in the Euro 2016 Final. Fernando Santos' tactics along with a goal in the second extra time gave Portugal the 1-0 victory and their first ever European Championship.
As expected, France took control of the game early as Portugal sat back in their half. Although France had the better chances, both teams went into the break goalless. In the 20th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo was subbed off the pitch due to an injury caused by a collision with Payet. He went off in tears knowing he will miss the rest of the final.
The second half got off to a slow start with both teams playing conservatively. In the final 25 minutes of the game, France put their foot on the gas and pinned Portugal in their own half. Griezmann missed a tremendous chance with a close-range header in the 66th minute and eight minutes later, Rui Patricio denied Giroud from inside the penalty area. Sissoko tested Rui Patricio with a long effort in the 84th minute as the game was heading for extra time. France came inches away from netting a late winner, but the post denied Gignac and the game went to overtime.
Like the second half, the extra time period began at a slow pace. Lloris denied Eder's header from a corner and the game remained goalless into the second extra period. Portugal sent their first warning by hitting the crossbar in the 107th minute from Raphael's free-kick and two minutes later, the substitute Eder gave Portugal the opener. A perfectly placed shot from outside the box beat Lloris, giving Portugal the 1-0 lead. The goal stunned the hosts and they were unable to respond as frustration began to set in with time running out. The head official, Mark Clattenburg, blew the final whistle and Portugal celebrated their first European Title!
Portugal didn't provide entertaining football throughout the tournament but each step of the way they got the job done. Fernando Santos’ pragmatic tactics led his team to European Glory with only ONE win in 90 minutes of play (against Wales in the semi-finals).
Similar to how Greece surprised the world by defeating the hosts Portugal in 2004, Portugal now stuns the hosts of Euro 2016. Tears of sadness accompanied Ronaldo in 2004 and today we see the Portuguese star with tears of joy. It is Portugal’s first European Championship as France remain trophyless since winning Euro 2000.
Congratulations Ellinara, Fernando Santos!