Payet fires France to 2-1 victory against Romania as Euro 2016 opens

Saturday, 2016-06-11 08:47:29
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France’s Dimitri Payet celebrates after the game. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO – A late strike by Dimitri Payet powered France to a fantastic 2-1 victory against Romania in their Euro 2016 Group A opener in the early morning of June 11.

Romania enjoyed the first scoring chance after four minutes as Bogdan Stancu’s close-range finish at the far post was brilliantly saved by French goalie Hugo Lloris.

Despite the shaky start, France prevailed over the remainder of the first half putting mounting pressure on the Romanian side.

Antoine Griezmann missed an opportunity to put France in front with his 14th-minute header from Sagna’s cross smashing into keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu's left post.

Ten minutes before the break, Payet’s fizzed cross was met by Griezmann only for a crucial touch from Cristian Sapunaru to take the ball wide.

France wrapped up a wasteful first half with Oliver Giroud’s header from Payet’s corner on the stroke of halftime going just over the bar.

The second half commenced with an opportunity for Romania which was once again squandered by Stancu with an inaccurate strike.

After an array of unsuccessful efforts, France was finally paid off with a 58th-minute opener by Giroud who fired a header under the bar for his eighth goal in six internationals.

Eight minutes later, Stancu was handed the chance to level after Patrice Evras silly foul on Nicolae Stanciu in the box and calmly slotted home from the penalty spot.

When it seemed to be a 1-1 draw for both sides, Payet picked up the ball on the right and drove an unstoppable effort past Tatarusanu into the top left-hand corner, securing an aggregate 2-1 win for the host team.

France, who are top of the table with three points, next take on Albania on June 16, while Romania face the Switzerland the previous day.

 

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