France beat Romania 2-1 in the opening game of Euro 2016 at the Stade de France on Friday night. A second-half goal from Olivier Giroud was cancelled out by a Bogdan Stancu penalty before Dimitri Payet settled the tie with a sublime effort late in the game. Dimitri Payet capped an outstanding display by curling in an 89th-minute shot with his left foot to restore France’s earlier lead. He was substituted soon after to a standing ovation with tears in his eyes.
France and Romania were locked 0-0 at halftime at the Stade de France. French striker Antoine Griezmann had the best chance of the first 45 minutes when he hit the post with a header. The Atletico Madrid star hit the woodwork in the 14th minute in their Group A match. Full back Bacary Sagna curled in an inviting cross from the right flank that deflected off Romania defender Vlad Chiriches into the path of Griezmann. Griezmann missed to provide the finishing touches to the cross in his first attempt and then saw his header from close crash onto the post.
Dimitri Payet was in a classic playmaker No. 10 role when Pogba was substituted with 15 minutes left. Stancu earlier refuse clear chances in each half as Romania pressed the favored French hard. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris crouched on his goal-line in the fourth minute to block Stancu’s close-range shot after a corner. Three minutes into the second half, Stancu volleyed weak and wide when left alone from eight meters.
France were primed to build on during the closing stages but the hosts gave away a penalty after Patrice Evra clattered into Nicolae Stanciu. Stancu kept his cool and sent Lloris the wrong way to draw the Romanians level with 25 minutes left on the clock. France seemed to have been held to a frustrating draw until Payet curled home a superb effort to shape the outcome.
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