Payet scores last minute super-strike to clinch France opening win

Dimitri Payet scored an absolute stunner to win the game for France over Romania, 2-1.

The host took off to a very shaky start, as an enlivened Romanian team came out blazing. The Romanians won the first corner and should have scored in the opening minutes of the game.

Andone will be wondering how his shot didn’t hit the back of the net. Hugo Lloris saving grace after making a quick reaction stop to deny what would have been a nightmare start for the hosts.

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It’s no surprise that France were overwhelmed by the occasion early. The noise was deafening and provided one of the most electric atmospheres you will ever see.

Dimitri Payet was a shining light for Les Bleus, displaying his usual mesmerizing footwork and clearly the player of the half. Payet put a chance on a silver platter for Olivier Giroud, but the tall marksman couldn’t finish his point blank range header.

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Antoine Griezmann was the next man to miss from right in front, as his header hit the bar in the 20th minute.

By the 30 minute mark, Kante had already notched up four interceptions and 22 passes.

Nothing seemed to be going in as Griezmann and Giroud both missed sitters from Payet’s crosses late in the half.

The second half told a different story, as Giroud scored a goal from Payet’s cross. After receiving heavy criticism from home fans, he will surely have won the hearts of the French faithful.

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Things took a turn for the worst for France, as Evra found himself bringing down Bogdan Stancu in the penalty box.

Stancu scored sending the Romanian yellow wall into hysteria.

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Moments later Giroud was brought down in the box by Chiriches challenge. The referee waved the penalty appeals away and the French crowd responded with deafening whistles and boos.

 

French manager Didier Deschamps decided to change the dynamic by subbing on Manchester United striker Anthony Martial.

To Romania’s credit, they followed their game plan brilliantly. Defended like a stubborn bull at the back, and persistent in attack until finding the breakthrough.

The man of the match broke through, scoring a wonder strike from outside the box in the dying minutes. His goal will go down as one of the Euros greatest ever goals. Payet was clearly emotional as he was subbed off, and is now a national hero.

The stadium roared Payet’s name like the Ancient Greeks did for Achilles. 

Stay tuned for our exclusive video footage + more from the post press conference. 

Ari Charilaou