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You are here: Football Euros Euro 2016: France top Group A, Albania stun Romania

Euro 2016: France top Group A, Albania stun Romania

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Dmitri PayetFrance and Switzerland played out a goal-less draw at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy as Group A concluded on a positive note for both teams, sending them through to the knockout rounds of Euro 2016. The point earned for France means that they finish the Group as table toppers and will face one of the third placed teams in Lyon on Sunday, while Switzerland finished in second place in the Group and will square off against the second place team in Group C, who as things presently stand is Poland, at Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

The other Group A game today saw minnows Albania score their first ever goal in a major championship, with that honour going to FC Zurich striker Armando Sadiku as the first time European Championship participants stunned Romania 1-0 to give themselves a decent chance of finishing as one of the best 4 third place teams in the competition.

The France - Switzerland match was completely a tale of two halves, with the first providing non-stop entertainment and the second a slow dull affair with both teams looking rather happy to settle for a point. In fact, the biggest talking point of the game was the fabric being used on the Swiss t-shirts with no less than 6 of them getting torn over the course of the game!

Former Manchester United youth product Paul Pogba was the star of the show for France in the first half, demanding the ball and driving his side forward, desperate to showcase his skill after being restored to the starting line-up as Les Blues made 5 changes for this game.

Pogba had an all action display, producing a key clearance inside his own box early in the game to deny former Arsenal man Johann Djourou, before beginning a personal duel with Swiss keeper Yann Sommer, who was having an excellent game. Sommer turned an early strike from Pogba onto his crossbar, but was a mere spectator when Pogba went on a powerful run and smacked an effort from distance onto the woodwork once again.

The second half witnessed the introduction of French hero Dmitri Payet, who came close to winning the game with an excellent technical volley from Moussa Sissoko's excellent right wing cross, after embarking on a lung busting run that left Swiss defenders in his wake.

Switzerland were perhaps a little unlucky to be denied a late penalty though when Man City right back Bacary Sagna pulled Blerim Dzemaili down in the box.

Both teams though looked to be satisfied with their day's work, as were Albania, who celebrated their maiden win with the fervour it deserved in front of their adoring fans.

Romania's best chance of that game fell to Florin Andone, who was denied by the woodwork.

Should Albania qualify for the last 16, they would face the winners of Group B, which is currently tightly contested between England (4), Wales (3), Slovakia (3) and Russia (1), with those 4 teams in action tomorrow.

Group A Final Round:

France 0-0 Switzerland

Albania 1-0 Romania

File Photograph