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Euro 2016: Payet wins it at the death for France

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An 89th minute strike from French playmaker Dmitri Payet earned the host nation a stunning 2-1 win against a hard working and very well disciplined Romania side in the opening match of Euro 2016 in Paris on Friday night.

After a goal-less first half which saw French skipper Hugo Lloris produce an excellent early save and France spurn three-to-four good opportunities of their own, the hosts took the lead just before the hour mark through Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud, who made the most of some poor goalkeeping from Romanian stopper Ciprian Tatarusanu as he failed to gather Payet's speculative cross.

France were ahead for just 8 minutes before Nicolae Stanciu made the most of a little bit of contact from former Manchester United left back Patrice Evra to go sprawling down in the French box.

Bogdan Stancu stepped up to take the penalty and sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way to draw Romania level.

The visitors looked like they were on course to grab what would have been a deserved point before Payet settled the contest with a gorgeous left foot shot into the top corner from the edge of the box, a 30 yard pearler that no keeper in the world would have stopped.

The win puts France in pole position early on in Group A, but Romania can take plenty of heart from their performance, and with a 24 team tournament from which only 8 sides will be eliminated at the end of the group stages, they still have every chance of making the knockout stages.

Tomorrow's Group A game will see Switzerland take on Albania.


France: Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Rami, Evra, Kanté, Matuidi, Pogba (Martial 77'), Griezmann (Coman 66'), Payet (Sissoko 90+1'), Giroud

Romania: Tatarusanu, Sspunaru, Grigore, Chiriches, Rat, Hoban, Pintilii, Stanciu (Chipciu 71'), Popa (Torje 82'), Stancu, Andone (Alibec 61')

Final Score: France 2-1 Romania (Giroud 57', Stancu pen 65', Payet 89')