Hosts off to the perfect start

Dimitri Payet scored a spectacular last gasp winner as France opened the tournament by stealing all three points from a spirited Romania side. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was also on the scoresheet, getting the hosts off to the perfect start.

Olivier Giroud, who went four months of the Premier League season without scoring a goal, rose highest above Ciprian Tatarusanu to open the scoring for France. At the time it looked although the French, who were dominating the possession, were going to hold out to open the tournament with three points.Dimitri Payet France

But eight minutes later Romania were awarded the chance to equalize. Patrice Evra tripping Nicoleu Stanciu inside the area. With the 20,000 travelling Romanians willing him on, industrious striker Bogdan Stancu was the man handed the responsibility. Having been denied in the opening exchanges from point blank range, Stancu had the change to redeem himself. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made the first move and Stancu stroked calmly in the right hand corner, to the delight of the Romania faithful.

Seconds later, France goal scorer Olivier Giroud was dragged down in area, but the referee waved away the claims. The chances were few and far between as both sides pushed for maximum points in the final ten minutes. Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial were thrown on by France manager Didier Deschamps in order to find a winner, with the latter coming closest.

One moment of brilliance sealed the victory for France. Dimitri Payet, who has sparked so often in his debut season in England, found the top corner with a sensational strike from 25 years, silencing the Romania supporters.

It was a spirited performance from a resolute Romania side. Many thought they would be out to rain on France’s parade after conceding just two goals in their qualifying group. But the Eastern Europeans offered as much attacking threat as the home nation, and could be one to watch over the next few weeks.

Final Score – France 2-1 Romania

Man of the match – Dimirti Payet


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