UEFA Euro 2016 France: Portugal Win Final For Cristiano Ronaldo

Euro 2016 France Semi Final 1If the final was to be described in one word, it would be ‘heartbreaking’; the game had the word written all over it. Heartbreak for Cristiano Ronaldo as a collision with Frenchman Dimitri Payet saw him stretchered off the field after a couple of futile attempts to continue playing. Heartbreak for the fans when they saw Ronaldo teary eyed, with the expression of a kid that has been denied its chance at playing party pinata on his birthday. Heartbreak on the faces of the Portuguese supporters as the French continued to dominate in the absence of Ronaldo. Heartbreak on the faces of the French nation, as Eder scored the only goal of the game in the 110th minute of the game, efficiently sealing Portugal’s first ever major trophy. And then there was jubilance in the Portuguese contingent, as their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo first showed glimpses of his mentoring from Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline, and then roared in celebration in the stands at Stade de France on a night that failed its promise to the French.

The game started with Portugal slightly shaky at first, but just as they were beginning to find their feet, a collision between Payet and Ronaldo saw him go to ground, needing medical assistance. Ronaldo continued to limp on for 10 more minutes, before he tearfully asked his manager to substitute him in what was possibly the biggest game of his career. He was soon replaced by Quaresma, with Nani given the captain’s armband.

Portugal continued to defend with their lives, with Rui Patricio making some crucial saves to deny the hosts a lead. Blaise Matuidi and Antoine Griezmann came close to scoring, and Gignac in the dying stages of the game hit the post, but in the end, the game stayed goalless and went in to extra time.

The first half was again dominated by the French, but Portugal got their breakthrough five minutes into the second half when Eder struck a shot from almost 25 meters out to get the ball past Hugo Lloris’ extended arm, as the entire stadium erupted.

The lead was then threatened by more desperate attempts from France, but Portugal held on with their lives, and were finally paid for their patience as the referee blew the full time whistle.

This victory ended France’s winning streak in the last 10 competitive games against Portugal. Pepe was awarded the Man of the Match award for his rock solid performance at the back.


Euro 2016 France: Hosts Proceed To Final

euro 2016Football can be cruel. That’s what Bastian Schweinsteiger and his contingent would have realized after the 0-2 defeat last night to hosts France in the Euro 2016 semi final. A goal on either side of halftime from Antoine Griezmann saw the French reach the final, to be played against Portugal on the 11th of July.

In a game that saw the Germans enjoy a whopping 68% ball possession, it was the French who prevailed, after first taking a lead through a penalty just before half time and then doubling the lead in the 72nd minute.

This happened to be the first time since 1958 that France have beaten Germany at a major tournament.

The Germans had a stuttering start, but upped their game quickly, and dominated the game for most parts. Germany coach Joachim Löw maintained that they were the better team and the players did everything he had asked them to, but for converting the chances.

France coach Didier Deschamps, on the other hand, was full of delight and praise for his players, and for the German side as well.

“We haven’t only had easy games. Germany were and are still the best side. We did what we needed to do. We were clinical, and Lloris was great when we needed him to be”, he said.

With two goals, man of the match Antoine Griezmann has now raced to the top of the goal scorer chart with 6 goals in the tournament so far. The next in line are Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani (all with 3 goals), all of whom could feature in the final.

The final will be played between hosts France and Portugal on the 11th of July at the Stade de France.