Portugal is one of the smallest countries of Europe and not particularly known for its sports. It's mostly remembered as one of the older European colonial powers which ultimately lost out to England and France. Portugal, however, has a passion for soccer – which there is called Football – and this came to the fore in 2016. The Portuguese were not fancied to even reach the finals and though they made it to there, they were not the favorites to win. The French team, confident of winning, however lost and in the bargain Portugal lifted amajor trophy.

The match

The victory over France in the Euro Cup is sweeter for thePortuguese because in the league games they failed to beat Iceland, Hungary, and Austria. Nobody expected them to win the cup.A few minutes into the final, their star player Ronaldo was struck and had to leave the field with an injured knee. The man had tried hard to continue but fate decreed otherwise. The French thought they had a chance, but thePortuguese teamrallied like one man and played on despite Ronaldo being out of the game.

It was 0-0 until the extra time, and then a solitary goal by Éder (109 minutes) made it 1-0 and Portugal won their first major football tournament. It was a great victory in the absence of Ronaldo and the French were just too shocked as they acknowledged they had been beaten.

The result

Portugal and France have matched their strengths more than 10 times since 1978 and on each occasion, the French had been victorious.

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For the Portuguese, it was a record of 10 successive defeats and to have overturned that sequence without their star Ronaldo is proof enough. The Portuguese employed a safety first tactic and that made some heavy football, but from the 70th minute, they appeared tobe a little more venturesome. It was on into the extra time.

All along the French appeared to be a little labored, maybe a little more tense than required.

They failed to breach the Portuguese defense, and goalkeeper Rui Patrício was unbeatable – he now ranks as the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Portugal won their first ever international trophy in soccer, after losing their first final to Greece 12 years ago. They, like France, were the defeated hosts of the 2004 tournament.

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