Portugal beats France 1-0 in Euro 2016 final
Staff and AP Reports
The big soccer final is underway: it’s the UEFA Euro final 2016 France vs. Portugal from SAINT-DENIS, France.
MATCH: France vs. Portugal
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Portugal scored in dramatic fashion in the 109th minute to beat France and win the Euro 2016.
The score is tied 0-0 at the 107 minute mark.
The second half is underway and the score is 0-0 at the 52 minute mark.
The score is France 0, Portugal 0 at the half.
The score is 0-0 at the 43 minute mark in the first half
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is injured and out of the European Championship final.
France has dominated the first 15 minutes of the final against Portugal, with tournament top scorer Antoine Griezmann sending in a looping header that forced an athletic diving save from Rui Patricio.
Despite France pressing forward early, Nani had the first serious shot on goal in the fourth minute, running onto a long pass by Cedris Soares but firing over Hugo Lloris’ goal.
But after that it was all France.
Moussa Sissoko blazed a volley a long way over the bar in the sixth minute and a minute later Griezmann fired wide after more good work by Sissoko put him clear behind the Portugal defense.
Portugal then faced a major setback when captain Cristiano Ronaldo fell to the ground screaming in pain and clutching his left knee after a clumsy challenge by Dimitri Payet near the halfway line.
Nani has kicked off the final of the European Championship for Portugal against France at the Stade de France. Nani beat Olivier Giroud before passing the ball backward.
Portugal quickly lost possession and France opened its home final on the attack.
Portugal keeper Rui Patricio is defending the goal in front of the largest section of Portugal supporters.
Barely four minutes later, Nani had the first scoring chance of the match when he collected a long ball forward and fired his shot over the top.
Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez has brought the European Championship trophy onto the pitch at the Stade de France, holding it aloft four years after Spain won the cup in Kiev, Ukraine, by beating Italy 4-0.
Xavi lofted the silverware alongside a giant inflatable version of the cup in the center circle that subsequently towered over French DJ David Guetta during the match’s opening ceremony.
Earlier, French and Portuguese fans around the stadium joined forces for the “Huh” Viking chant that Iceland made famous at the tournament.
Both sets of fans clapped their hands, rhythmically building to a crescendo of applause as their teams continued their warmups.
The official team sheet handed out by UEFA for Sunday night’s European Championship final contained a surprise weather forecast.
At the bottom of the sheet, under the lists of players, UEFA wrote: “Weather conditions: Snow.” Temperatures, it added, would be a far-from-freezing 28 degrees Celsius (81 Fahrenheit) with humidity at 38 percent.
The only blizzard in sight at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis was the huge swarm of moths that descended on the playing surface.
France captain Hugo Lloris has run onto the pitch at the Stade de France to begin his pre-match warmup ahead of the final against Portugal.
Lloris was greeted by a wall of French tricolor flags behind his goal as he took to the field with his team’s two reserve goalkeepers, Steve Mandanda and Benoit Costil.
Next onto the Stade de France pitch was Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio and his two understudies, Anthony Lopes and Eduardo.
The French goalkeepers were followed a few minutes later by the rest of the team, who jogged onto the pitch to a rousing chorus of “Allez Les Bleus” from flag waving French fans at both ends of the stadium. The players ran to the fans massed behind Lloris’s goal and applauded them.
Last to arrive for their warmup were the Portugal players, led out by captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who also led his players in applauding the Portugal supporters.
Clouds of moths in the Stade de France are bugging players and officials ahead of the final.
In 28-degree (82 Fahrenheit) heat in the stadium, the moths are at field level and dozens of birds are circling about the roof.
Referee Mark Clattenburg of England was seen swiping at the moths as he tested the goal-line technology equipment at each end of the pitch before the France vs. Portugal game.
France coach Didier Deschamps stayed on the field only briefly with members of his staff 90 minutes before the kickoff
Members of UEFA’s executive committee, including former Croatia forward Davor Suker, were also flapping their hands at the insects as they posed for a team photograph near the entrance to the players’ tunnel.
Stadium staff with vacuum cleaners were gathering up moths in each of the technical areas in front of the dugouts.
Key central defender Pepe and holding midfielder William Carvalho return to the Portugal side to face France.
Pepe sat out the semifinal against Wales with a thigh muscle injury, while Carvalho missed it through suspension. Pepe replaces Bruno Alves, while Carvalho comes in for Danilo in a 4-1-3-2 and will sit in front of the back four.
Cristiano Ronaldo spearheads the attack.
France coach Didier Deschamps has kept the same side that beat Germany 2-0 in the semifinals.
Moussa Sissoko lines up on the right of midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the tournament’s six-goal top scorer Antoine Griezmann playing just behind center forward Olivier Giroud.
Attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet keeps his place wide left, despite a poor game against Germany, while Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi will anchor the central midfield.
Center half Samuel Umtiti makes just his third international appearance and lines up alongside Laurent Koscielny.
Here are the lineups for the final between Portugal and France at Stade de France:
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, William Carvalho, Joao Mario, Renato Sanches, Adrien Silva, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.
France: Hugo Lloris, Bacary Sagna, Samuel Umtiti, Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Moussa Sissoko, Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet, Olivier Giroud.
The state presidents and prime ministers of France and Portugal are set to watch their teams play at the final.
France President Francois Hollande has been a regular visitor, wearing his team scarf, in the VIP seats at Euro 2016.
Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls head the French government delegation on UEFA’s published list of guests expected at Stade de France.
Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo da Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa should lead its government delegation.
Other government leaders scheduled to attend are South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary.
Sports leaders include FIFA’s president and secretary general, Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura, and International Olympic Committee member Prince Albert of Monaco.
Football greats Luis Figo of Portugal and Ruud Gullit, captain of the winning Netherlands team at Euro 1988, were mingling at a UEFA-designated hotel near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday.
Mark Clattenburg, who will referee the final, has paid tribute to the behavior of players at the tournament, saying their desire “to get on with the game” has made matches more entertaining and easier to referee.
“There have been a lot of positive comments across the footballing world about the standard of refereeing at the final tournament,” Clattenburg said in an interview with UEFA’s website. “There’s always room for improvement, but the behavior of the players has been fantastic – on the whole, the players have just got on with the match.”
Clattenburg said advance contact with teams had paid dividends. “There’s been no dissent, no mobbing of the referee. It’s been a wonderful sight to see.”
He said UEFA’s Referees Committee had sent match officials to see each team before the tournament, listening to them and explaining what would happen during games.
The gates have opened at the Stade de France and the first French and Portuguese fans are trickling into the stadium with less than three hours to kick-off in the European Championship final.
One France fan quickly went to the French end of the stadium and began waving a giant red, white and blue tricolor flag as ground staff turned on sprinklers to wet the pitch after a day of hot temperatures in and around Paris.
France is looking to make it four wins out of five major tournament finals, after winning the European title in 1984 and 2000 and the World Cup in 1998. Portugal is still looking for its first major tournament win.
Pedro Pinto, a 49-year-old Portugal fan who lives in France said, “This is my dream final – the country of my birth against the country where I have made my home.”
France or Portugal will top the European Championship prize money table with at least 25 million euros ($27.6 million) from UEFA.
UEFA created a prize fund of 301 million euros ($333 million) for football federations from the 24 competing countries.
All get a basic 8 million euros ($8.8 million), plus results bonuses from group-stage games — 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for a win and 500,000 euros ($550,000) for a draw — then payments on a rising scale for each knockout round.
France has already earned 18.5 million euros ($20.4 million) and can add 8 million euros ($8.8 million) more for winning the final on Sunday. The runner-up gets 5 million euros ($5.5 million) more.
Portugal currently has 17.5 million euros ($19.3 million).
Players should get bonuses totaling several millions from the prize money.
Germany — which got $35 million from FIFA for winning the 2014 World Cup — added 18.5 million euros ($20.5 million) from UEFA for reaching the semifinals.
Euro 2016 surprise teams Wales and Iceland go home with, respectively, 18 million euros ($19.9 million) and 14 million euros ($15.5 million).
Ukraine, the only team to lose all three group games, received the least amount of 8 million euros ($8.8 million).
France and Portugal come to the European Championship final at very different paces.
Portugal has taken four fewer days than France — 27 compared to 31 — to line up its seventh match at Euro 2016.
Portugal and Iceland were the last teams to kick off, on Tuesday, June 14 in Saint-Etienne, while France had been resting since opening the tournament on Friday, June 10 at the Stade de France against Romania.
Still, the schedule made both teams play one game on just two full days of rest.
Portugal’s round of 16 game against Croatia was on a Saturday after a Wednesday group-stage game against Hungary.
UEFA’s competitions director, Giorgio Marchetti, acknowledged that the transition from group games to the round of 16 — affecting third-place teams like Portugal — was the least-liked feature of the 24-team format.
France is playing Sunday’s final less than 72 hours after completing a semifinal win against world champion Germany.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is injured and out of the European Championship final. Ronaldo was carried from the first in... read more