Practical Portugal, Floundering France

How Portugal stunned hosts France to win their first major trophy

HISTORIC: Their stout defence is a key reason Portugal are champions of Euro 2016. 





(Eder 109)


  • After extra time


1 Grit, guts and gumption

At times, their resilience defied belief, but not Fernando Santos' template.

Portugal's "soak-and-suffocate" plan certainly wasn't unique, but their execution almost certainly was.

In the knockout stages, Portugal faced just eight shots in 330 minutes of action - and conceded only once.

That record was extended after another 120 minutes against the hosts and tournament favourites.

Santos has yet to lose a competitive game since taking over in September 2014 and makes no apologies for Portugal's ugliness.

A man who coached in Greece took a little from the Greek triumph from Euro 2004, making Portugal one of the hardest sides to watch and, equally, one of the hardest to beat.

The only subtle difference is a telling one. Rather than two banks of four camped in their own half, Santos deployed four uncompromising grafters, runners and muscle men either side of William Carvalho (above).

The 4-1-4-1 formation used after Cristiano Ronaldo went off gave the illusion of attacking enterprise, but really, it was a cautious, safety-first approach that earned an unlikely win.  

2 Mixing age and athleticism

Santos also benefited from another overriding theme of Euro 2016. Apart from Belgium and, perhaps, England, there were no group of players all around the same age who came through their academies together and were primed to excel.

In the final analysis, Santos got the perfect mix. Renato Sanches (above) - the youngest to feature in a Euro final - linked well with elder statesmen Luis Nani and Ronaldo.

And William Carvalho protected Pepe and Jose Fonte.

Joao Mario and Raphael Guerreiro busied themselves around Eder and Ricardo Quaresma, when the latter two were introduced. Their running was tireless and the enthusiasm infectious.

The young ones helped the old guard enjoy a fitting finale to their long and distinguished careers. Now they'll be expected to carry the torch at the World Cup in Russia.

3 Snapping, snarling Portuguese pit bulls

Pepe (above) is very much the durian of football. He's either loved or loathed.

He's 33 and unrepentant after a career of niggling and snarling at opponents. Nobody does it better.

When Pepe was presented with his winner's medal, he had to take out Olivier Giroud to make room in his pocket. He and Carvalho also ensured Antoine Griezmann had his worst game.

Before Euro 2016, everyone was talking about Paul Pogba. After the final, he was a forgotten man. Sanches had stolen the show.

In Pepe, Carvalho and Sanches, Portugal had three indefatigable gatekeepers. They would not be moved. 

4 Santos' sly tactical tweak

The former electrician (above) knew his side lacked a spark and used Ronaldo's injury to fix the French overload in midfield.

He changed Portugal's shape, sending on Ricardo Quaresma to play wide on the right and leaving Nani alone up front. With the extra body in midfield, France's early attacking impetus was lost.

Didier Deschamps, no slouch in the tactical tweaks department himself, introduced Kingsley Coman in the second half and suddenly, France looked like winning again.

Both coaches went for broke, throwing on conventional No. 9s in Andre-Pierre Gignac and Eder .

But Santos' initial tactical tweak, along with his galvanising ability to drill a limited Portuguese side until they became more than the sum of their parts, just about earned him that huge slice of luck. 


5 That surreal winner from Eder

He played only 267 minutes of EPL football for Swansea last season. He was an understudy to Bafetimbi Gomis.

Most fans consider Eder (above) to be a bit of a joke, an ungainly, clumsy striker compared to their more finessed forwards. In football terms, Ronaldo and Eder were Beauty and the Beast.

Before the final, he had just three goals in 28 games - all of them in friendlies.

Sometimes, football can be over-complicated and over-analysed. Sometimes, it really is the daftest game. And there's nothing dafter than Eder scoring the 20-metre winner.

It was the mad end that the maddening showpiece perhaps deserved.



Portugal have been ahead for only 73 minutes of their 720 minutes played Euro 2016.


Portugal are the 10th country to win the European crown, after playing 35 games at the continental tournament.

Underground school

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SAFE: Damage is seen inside Syria, The Hope school on the outskirts of the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town, in Idlib province.
PORTABLE SCHOOL: A boy stands in a mobile educational caravan for children who do not have access to schools on the outskirts of the Syrian rebel-held town of Saraqib.
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3 Myanmar nationals murdered in M'sia

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POOR QUALITY: Mr Chang Teik Seng, a durian farmer in Penang, said that because of the dry season, the fruit this year would be smaller and lighter, with thinner pulp.
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Bank robber nabbed in Thailand

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Stabbed over a joke

Chinese national stabs colleague in abdomen over what DPP calls an inane dispute

It was a joke.

But no one laughed.

Instead, a man ended up being stabbed, and his assailant ended up in jail.

On Jan 30, Chinese national Chen Pei Min, 39, jokingly told his colleague, Mr Zhang Yuekun, that he could throw him to the ground with just one hand.

Yang Changchun, a cleaner, overheard this, barged forward and exclaimed that he could do the same to Mr Zhang, 45.

When Mr Zhang replied he could do likewise to him, Yang, 47, got angry.

He went off and returned with a knife that has a 10cm-long blade, which he used to stab Mr Zhang once at the left side of his abdomen.

Yang was jailed for 15 months yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon.

The three Chinese nationals, who worked for the same cleaning company, were resting at home at Jalan Suka in Geylang when the incident took place around 9pm.

Shortly before the stabbing, Yang and Mr Chen were drinking beer and liquor at the front yard of their house with friends.

Mr Zhang did not join them, the court heard.

Mr Chen then walked over to tease him, which then got out of hand.

After the attack on Mr Zhang, the others disarmed Yang.

One of them called for an ambulance, and Mr Zhang was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was warded for five days.

He was placed on medical leave for four weeks after that.

He suffered injuries to the middle segment of his small intestine and his omentum - a layer of membrane that surrounds the stomach and abdominal organs.


Deputy Public Prosecutor Houston Johannus urged District Judge Luke Tan to jail Yang between 18 months and two years.

He stressed that the attack took place after an inane dispute and was unprovoked.

In his mitigation plea, Yang's lawyer, Mr Benny Tan, asked the judge to jail his client for between 10 and 15 months.

He said Yang was remorseful and there was no indication Mr Zhang's injuries were life-threatening.

For voluntarily causing hurt with the knife, he could have been jailed up to seven years, or fined, or caned, or any combination of such punishments.

PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES... Contempt of court

The Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill was presented in Parliament for the first reading by Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah yesterday. TAN TAM MEI ( reports

Why do we need the law of contempt?

1 Court orders must be effectively enforced so that individuals can receive full protection of the law.

2 Families suffer when maintenance orders and other court orders are breached.

3 Individuals have the right to a fair trial. Effective contempt laws will protect them from being subject to trial by media.

4 To protect Courts from allegations of bias. Preserving high levels of trust in Singapore Courts ensures that Singaporeans remain confident of access to fair and effective justice.

What is new about the Bill?

1 The Bill will set out the law of contempt of court in statutory form, which brings clarity and certainty to what constitutes contempt, said the Ministry of Law.

Existing law of contempt is contained in common law, which is law based on judgments made in previous cases, said Singapore Management University Law Professor Jack Tsen-Ta Lee.

"Other offences like murder or theft are in the statutes, but the current law of contempt is unusual in that it's not (in the statutes)," he said.

"Clearly, (the Government) feels that putting it down in statute will make it clearer, and everyone can see what the maximum penalties will be."

Mr Sui Yi Siong, a lawyer at Harry Elias Partnership, said that a statute that spells out the sort of speech that is permissible would be helpful to all by stating clearly what can amount to a contempt of court offence.

2 The Bill puts in place a clear framework for punishment of contempt:

  • High Court or Court of Appeal: A fine up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three years.
  • Other Courts: A fine of up to $20,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months.

Q&A on law of contempt


1 I disobey court orders, such as refusing to pay a sum of money ordered by the court, or causing or abetting breach of court orders.

2 I publish material that interferes with or prejudices pending court proceedings, including prejudging issues in pending proceedings.

3 I make allegations of bias or impropriety against Singapore judges, or impugn the integrity of the courts.


1 I make fair criticism, which is a statement that might be disparaging against a court or judge, but is based on fact and is made in temperate terms, meaning no insults or swear words, said Professor Lee.

2 I report court proceedings fairly and accurately.

3 I make a report to the Chief Justice, the police, a law enforcement agency or other public authority regarding a judge's alleged misconduct or corruption.

A survey of 1,000 Singaporeans from June to July 2016 showed:


believe there is a need for effective enforcement of court orders


are in favour of keeping outside influence from affecting on-going court proceedings.

Clearly (the Government) feels that putting (the law of contempt) down in statute will make it clearer, and everyone can see what the maximum penalties will be.

- Singapore Management University Law Professor Jack Tsen-Ta Lee

Mother-daughter pair were still alive after car plunged into canal

But the impact left them with several fractured ribs and neck injuries and they later drowned.

LOSS: Mr Robin Poon Joo Kim with his wife Yep Lay Choo and their daughter Kimberly Poon Hui Yin.

Both mother and daughter were still alive when their car plunged into Alexandra Canal on Jan 24.

But the impact left Madam Yep Lay Choo, 51, and her only child, student Kimberly Poon Hui Yin, 22, with several fractured ribs and neck injuries.

Delivering his findings into their deaths yesterday, State Coroner Marvin Bay said Ms Poon's neck was more seriously hurt than her mother's and it could have affected her ability to move to the rear of the overturned car - towards air pockets when water started entering the vehicle.

Coroner Bay, who found their deaths to be a "truly tragic misadventure", added that Madam Yep, who worked in the logistics and transportation industry, could have stayed behind in the vehicle to help her daughter until they drowned in the 3m-deep water.

Both mother and daughter were still alive when their car plunged into Alexandra Canal on Jan 24 but later drowned. PHOTO: ST FILE PHOTO, COURTESY OF ROBIN POON

Madam Yep's husband, businessman Robin Poon Joo Kim, 50, had earlier driven her and their daughter to Great World City Shopping Centre before handing her the keys to the car.

He left in a taxi around 6pm for a work-related meeting.

Madam Yep and Ms Poon went to the nearby Valley Point Shopping Centre at River Valley Road where they had dinner. They shopped for groceries and went to the basement carpark at 8.57pm.

Closed-circuit television footage shows their silver Mercedes-Benz E250 leaving the basement at "an apparent fast speed".

Instead of turning right to the road, it shoots straight ahead, goes over a kerb into some bushes, then swerves to the left before hitting the canal railing. The car travels some 15m in about 3sec before falling into the canal when the railing gives way.

Coroner Bay said: "The event was likely precipitated by a moment of inattention or distraction on the part of Madam Yep as she left the carpark, having stepped on the accelerator instead of braking.

"This case does underscore the need for motorists navigating less familiar carparks to proceed at a cautious speed, which would allow sufficient reaction time to avoid humps, obstacles or other unexpected features of the carpark."

The event was likely precipitated by a moment of inattention or distraction on the part of Madam Yep as she left the carpark, having stepped on the accelerator instead of braking.

- State Coroner Marvin Bay

Yishun death: Men made police reports against each other

Man found dead in Yishun and man arrested afterwards had met in church a few years ago

BLOODIED AND BRUISED: Internet picture of Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues who was found dead in Yishun Street 22 on Saturday.

The man found dead in Yishun and the man arrested later had known each other for a few years, the police said yesterday.

They had also made police reports against each other, said a spokesman in a statement.

At about 8pm on Saturday, Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues, 26, was found motionless, bloodied, bruised and with a gash across his face on the corridor on the sixth storey of Block 279, Yishun Street 22.

There was also a cut on his left arm and what appeared to be rope tied around his right wrist, which was also bloodied.

A 20-year-old man, who is known only as Ryan and who lives in the block, was later arrested in relation to the case.

Yesterday, the police said Ryan's mother had lodged four reports against Mr Rodrigues between April last year and March this year.

Three of them were for Mr Rodrigues allegedly turning up at Ryan's home and causing a nuisance before being asked to leave by his family.

The last report was for an alleged molest of a female, police said.

The spokesman said officers had interviewed Ryan's mother and the police had acknowledged - in a letter - her family's appeal made through their MP, Mr K. Shanmugam. They were also informed that the matter was under investigation.

The police said Mr Rodrigues had made a report on June 30 last year after he was allegedly assaulted by Ryan a week earlier.

But Mr Rodrigues had said he did not want to pursue the matter.

The police had also advised Ryan's family to lodge a Magistrate's Complaint against Mr Rodrigues.

Both parties attended mediation sessions between February and May this year at the Community Court, said the spokesman.

Ryan's 22-year-old sister, an administrative assistant who declined to be named, claimed to The New Paper on Sunday that Mr Rodrigues was a stalker who terrorised them for more than two years.

"We know very little about him, but he would always bang on the door, looking for my brother," she said.

"We've made many complaints and reports to the police."


According to Ryan's sister, the two men got to know each other at a meeting in church.

"He (Mr Rodrigues) used to be very quiet, but started acting strangely about two years ago," she said.

"We have no idea why he was stalking us."

A resident in the area, who wanted to be known only as Mr An, 35, a technician, told TNPS that he had seen both Ryan and Mr Rodrigues in the area.

"I've seen them confronting each other, below the block," he said.

"He (Ryan) was walking his dog, but nothing happened then.

"He has tattoos all over his arms and the other guy (Mr Rodrigues) was always in the area, sometimes staring at the block from an opposite block."

Mr Rodrigues' family declined to comment when TNP visited their Yishun Avenue 6 home yesterday.

The police also said yesterday that members of the public should refrain from commenting or speculating about the case.

"The police will conduct a thorough investigation and there will be proceedings in court, in relation to the death of the deceased."

The police are investigating the unnatural death.

It remains unknown what Ryan was arrested for.

We know very little about him (Mr Shawn Ignatius Rodrigues) but he would always bang on the door, looking for my brother. We've made many complaints and reports to the police.

- The 22-year-old sister of Ryan, the man arrested over Mr Rodrigues' death