Dimitri Payet was the hero of France after the West Ham midfielder grabbed a sensational late winner as the hosts beat Romania 2-1 in the opening match of Euro 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris.
[NOT A DRY EYE IN THE HOUSE: Payet scores wondergoal for France, then breaks down in tears]
The match looked to be drifting towards a draw after Bogdan Stancu’s second half penalty cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s headed opener.
Ligue 1
Lyon to play behind closed doors pending investigation into bottle incident
22/11/2021 AT 16:55
But with just minutes remaining, Payet curled a left footed shot into the top corner to send France fans into delirious celebrations.
[KEY MOMENTS: Euro 2016: The key moments that decided France v Romania]
Romania ought to have taken the lead in the opening five minutes when Nicolai Stanciu hit his shot straight back across goal at Hugo Lloris.

Romania's Nicolae Stanciu is fouled by France's Patrice Evra resulting in a penalty

Image credit: Reuters

Both Giroud and Antoine Griezmann squandered great changes for France before the Arsenal striker beat Ciprian Tătăruşanu to the ball to head Les Bleus ahead from Payet's cross.
A rash challenge from Patrice Evra on Stancu in the box gave Romania a lifeline and the match seemed destined for a draw until Payet’s late, brilliant winner.

TALKING POINT: The brilliance of Payet

He’s been doing it all season long for West Ham and showed why he is so highly rated with his brilliant strike. This contribution means that France are now in pole position to qualify top from Group A. They next face Albania in Marseille whilst Romania play Switzerland in Paris.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Dimitri Payet (France): Who else? He becomes the first French player to score and provide an assist at an European Championship match since David Trezeguet in the final of EURO 2000.

PLAYER RATINGS

France: Lloris 7, Sagna 6, Koscielny 6, Rami 6, Evra 6, Kanté 7, Matuidi 6, Pogba 7, Griezmann 6, Payet 9, Giroud 7. SUBS: Coman 6, Martial 6.
Romania: Tătăruşanu 6, Săpunaru 6, Grigore 7, Chiricheş 6, Raţ 6, Hoban 6, Pintilii 7, Stanciu 7, Popa 6, Stancu 7, And one 6. SUBS: Alibec 6, Chipsiu 6, Torje 6
MATCHCAST: FULL STATS, TWEETS AND COMMENTARY

KEY MOMENTS

4’ – GREAT SAVE! Fantastic reactions from Lloris to keep out Stanciu, coming in at the far post from Romania’s opening corner.
14’ – POST! Sagna's cross from the right finds Griezmann, whose blocked effort comes back to him before he heads off the side of the post.
36’ – CHANCE FRANCE: It’s Griezmann again, planting his shot just wide of the post from Payet’s fizzing cross.
48’ – CHANCE ROMANIA: stanciu crosses to Stancu, who acrobatically volleys just wide.
57’ – GOAL! France 1-0 Romania: Olivier Giroud jumps ahead of Tătăruşanu to head France ahead.

France's Olivier Giroud scores their first goal

Image credit: Reuters

65’ – GOAL! France 1-1 Romania: Patrice Evra fouls Bogdan Stancu in the box and he gets up to convert the penalty.
89’ – GOAL! France 2-1 Romania: A sensational finish from Payet, who curls an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

KEY STATS

  • France is the 6th host to win their opening match at the European Championship. The only other hosts to win their opening match were Spain in 1964, France in 1984, Belgium and Netherlands 2000, Ukraine 2012.
  • Olivier Giroud is the 2nd Frenchman to score the opening goal after Michel Platini in 1984. Platini went on to score nine goals in total in 1984, a tournament record and a total record.
  • Giroud scores his 18th goal for France. Giroud has scored eight goals in his last eight appearances for France.
  • France have conceded nine penalties in the EUROs and equals Germany's record.
  • Bogdan Stancu becomes the second Romanian to score a penalty goal at the EUROs after Ionel Ganea (2000). In 2008 Adrian Mutu missed a penalty vs Italy.
  • Dimitri Payet is the third West Ham player to score at the EUROs after Geoff Hurst (ENG) in 1968 and Trevor Brooking (ENG) in 1980.
  • The last French player to score and provide an assist at an European Championship match was David Trezeguet in the final of EURO 2000.

MATCH IN A TWEET

Premier League
Solskjaer’s sad exit exposes incompetence at top of United - The Warm-Up
22/11/2021 AT 07:45
Ligue 1
Lyon-Marseille fixture abandoned after 'cowardly assault' on Payet
21/11/2021 AT 22:28