It was a night of 120 minutes football no thanks to a goalless regular 90 minutes. The National stadium in Paris had all the paparazzi of a wonder atmosphere. As hosts, France were among the favourites from the beginning of the tournament. Their status as favourites rose higher after they capitalized on two errors in the semifinal to defeat Germany against all odds.
Griezmann was the toast of the team but like in the UEFA Champions League final he failed to lift his team as they lost to a 109th minute Eder goal. Ronaldo’s presence has a way of getting to Griezmann. Although he didn’t have a penalty to miss but he will rue the free header he missed in the second half of the game. His Golden Boot may console him.
Football is beauty and is also very cruel. The woodwork denied Gignac of the winner before the 90 and he was denied one more time in the first half of extra time. Sissoko ran his heart out but there was no goal for his troubles.
When Ronaldo couldn’t continue, it must have been a relief for the French but the Portuguese held on defensively and introduced Eder later on – a man who had just 3 goals in 28 previous international matches. With Swansea, he couldn’t find the net until he was loaned out to Lille. His 25 yard shot found the back of the net against the run of play.
It was not a night of Ronaldo but a night of Éderzito António Macedo Lopes. It was a night of a great team effort. A third placed team in the group wins the Euros and Ronaldo can smile after his tears earlier in the half. He pays his taxes. We are proud.
Sad night for Gunner duo of Koscielny and Giroud – a bitter pill to swallow. Now they can have their rest before the season begins in just over 30 days time.
So we come to the end of Euro2016. Thank you Iceland and Wales for the surprises. Thank you Germany for the beautiful football display. Thank you France for hosting. Enjoy the Victory Portugal. Do we have the team of the tournament yet?
Next – The Olympics.
The France team looked more AFCON than UEFA.