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Dili delights at Portugal's Euro 2016 success

DILI (Reuters) - Hundreds of people took to the streets in East Timor on Monday as the former Portuguese colony celebrated Portugal's Euro 2016 triumph over France.

Sitting on trucks and motorcycles, ecstatic fans waved Portuguese flags, honked car horns and held up pictures of star forward Cristiano Ronaldo on the streets of the capital, Dili.

"Portuguese and Timorese are united, just look at this celebration, it tells you all," said a Portuguese teacher staying in the country.

East Timor was a Portuguese colony for nearly three centuries before being invaded by Indonesia in 1975. It became independent on 2002 after a referendum vote.

"Thanks to Portugal we have now become an independent nation, we enjoy being in East Timor," said a young fan celebrating on the street.

Portugal substitute Eder scored the only goal in extra time to upset hosts and favourites France 1-0 in Paris on Sunday and land Portugal their first major honour.

Such success remains far beyond East Timor's own national team, who are ranked 177th out of 209 by FIFA and have never qualified for a major tournament. They were humbled 10-0 by Saudi Arabia in 2018 World Cup qualifying in Asia last year.

(Reporting by Reuters TV. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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