Euro Cup: Giroud, Payet score, give France 2-1 win over Romania in opening match

Dimitri Payet scores a stunning late winner with a strike from 20 metres as hosts France beat plucky Romania in the opener of the European Championship


France’s Dimitri Payet celebrates with team mates after scoring their second goal. Photo: Christian Hartmann /Reuters
France’s Dimitri Payet celebrates with team mates after scoring their second goal. Photo: Christian Hartmann /Reuters

Paris: France midfielder Dimitri Payet scored a stunning late winner with a strike from 20 metres as the hosts beat plucky Romania 2-1 in the opening game of Euro 2016 on Friday.

Olivier Giroud had put France ahead with a header in the 57th minute but Romania equalised with a penalty by Bogdan Stancu eight minutes later and looked to be heading for a draw.

Anthony Martial upped the tempo for France when he came on as a substitute for Paul Pogba with 13 minutes left but Payet was the game’s stand-out performer and he curled a beautiful left-foot shot into the top corner in the 89th minute.

The win puts France top of Group A on three points, with Albanian and Switzerland due to meet in Lens on Saturday. Reuters

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