Andre-Pierre Gignac came in as a substitute and almost grabbed victory for France in Sunday’s Euro 2016 finals against Portugal. He was unlucky to have missed being crowned a hero in the historical derby, as his effort at scoring was denied by a whisker.
Image: Gignac and Griezmann watched in dismay as the ball hit the inside of the post and rolled away at stoppage time. Portugal would go on to win the finals after Eder who replaced an injured CR7, scoreD the superb winner at 109 minutes on the clock.
Gignac remained hopeful through out, urging his countrymen to fight harder but fate had made its choice already. Portugal was the chosen heir to the crown.
The threatening presence of innumerable home fans cheering on the France team till the end didn’t make any difference.
In the early minutes of the first half, Cristiano Ronaldo suffered a hit and was substituted with Eder who eventually scored the superb winner.
France striker Andre-Pierre Gignac thinks it’s unbelievable that the host nation’s Euro 2016 dream was turned into a nightmare as they slumped to a 1-0 extra-time defeat to Portugal after 109 minutes in Sunday’s final.
Gignac and Griezmann buried their heads in pain.
Football is a game of luck–sometimes–watching Gignac who had earlier replaced fellow striker Olivier Giroud in the 78th minute turn in a lively cameo that painfully hit the post and rolled away, was escruciating. That was almost at the stoppage time before the additional period.
Speaking in agony at the Stade de France, the Tigres UANL player told reporters: “I think that we were the strongest for 90 minutes.
“We’ve been unlucky. That’s football. The truth is they were waiting for us with a false rhythm.
“They killed us during the extra time. It’s awful. It’s a nightmare. It’s really terrible.”
France played their semi-final against Germany on Thursday, 24 hours after Portugal beat Wales in Lyon but Gignac denied tiredness was a factor as Fernando Santos’ team came on strongly during extra time.
“We were playing the final, there is no way to get tired,” he explained. “What happened just happened, it’s a twist of fate.
“We got some chances and touched the woodwork at the 92nd minute. The ball could have bounce back to Griezi [Antoine Griezmann] but it went wide.”
Portgal won the Euro 2016 finals 1-0 after extra-time.
The 30-year-old forward believes the France team have found their rythm and are ready to take on the world.
He said the tournament as a whole boosted the national team’s standing with the French public. The player, however, and urged his team-mates to respond to Sunday’s crushing setback when the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign begins with a trip to Belarus in September.
He added: “We must look at the bright side. I think we had a strong French national side that restored our image.
“We’ll have to swallow [defeat]. It’s going to be difficult to do so. We’ll have s***ty holidays. We’ll need to quickly bounce back because there are the World Cup qualifying games ahead of us.”