Date: June 10, 2016
France: Giroud 57, Payet 88
Romania: Stancu pen 66
Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Hosts France left it late to claim victory in the tournament’s opening match and needed a wonderstrike from Dimitri Payet to seal the win. The French had not played a competitive match for two years and for much of the match, it showed. They took their time to get going and missed a number of chances before Olivier Giroud made the breakthrough early in the second half. French defensive frailties were then exposed when 35-year-old Patrice Evra’s clumsy trip gave Romania a penalty that was converted by Bogdan Stancu. Romania, who conceded the fewest goals (two) in qualifying looked more than capable of holding on for a draw, until Payet’s late strike.
Payet’s winning goal, two minutes before the end of full time. Just as it looked as if Romania would hold out for a draw, Payet received the ball 25 yards out, turned to make space for the shot and curled the ball into the far corner.
Man of the match
Dimitri Payet created the opening goal for Giroud and was the only Frenchman to find space among the organised Romanian backline. Then he hit a sweet winner to decide the match.
Matter of fact
Giroud has scored eight goals in his last six starts for France. That figure could have been higher, but he missed two clear headers in the first half.
Would the result have been very different if Hugo Lloris had not brilliantly saved at point blank range from Bogdan Stancu from Romania’s first corner of the game in the 3rd minute? And should Romania have had a first-half penalty, after Laurent Koscielny fouled Florin Andone? Stancu missed another chance early in the second half before finally converting Romania’s penalty. The Romanians arrived with a reputation for defensive strength but they more than held their own and can feel aggrieved at the late French winner.
Attempts on target
01 Hugo Lloris
03 Patrice Evra
04 Adil Ramy
05 N’Golo Kante
07 Antoine Griezmann (20 Coman 66)
08 Dimitri Payet (18 Sissoko 90)
09 Olivier Giroud
14 Blaise Mated
15 Paul Pogba (11 Anthony Martial 76)
19 Bacary Sagna
21 Laurent Koscielny
Lloris – Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra – Pogba, Kante, Matuidi – Griezmann, Giroud, Payet
12 Ciprian Tatarusanu
03 Razvan Rat
05 Ovidiu Hoban
06 Vlad Churches
08 Mihai Pintilii
10 Nicolae Stanciu (07 Chipciu 71)
14 Florin Andone (09 Denis Alibec 60)
19 Bogdan Stancu
20 Adrian Popa (11 Gabriel Torje 82)
21 Dragos Grigore
22 Cristian Sapanaru
Tatarusanu – Sapunaru, Chiriches, Grigore, Rat – Stanciu, Hoban, Pintilii – Popa, Stanciu – And one
France: Giroud 68
Romania: Chiriches 33, Rat 45, Popa 78
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hun)