Relive France’s opening game win over Romania

Les Bleus’ star-studded attack had to wait until the 58th
minute to make the breakthrough, when Olivier Giroud
headed home Payet’s cross.
Romania responded within seven minutes, with Bogdan
Stancu scoring from the spot after Patrice Evra clipped
Nicolae Stanciu inside the area.
A draw looked the most likely outcome until Payet capped a
brilliant individual display with his wonder goal in the 89th
minute.
The West Ham star apart, the hosts’ performance was
unconvincing but, for the whole of the France, the result
mattered far more.
The perfect start for France
A win was the perfect start to a month of football which, it is
hoped, can help to bring together a fractured country that
will remain under a state of emergency for the duration of
the competition.
The scale of the police presence outside the Stade de France
on Friday was obvious, with two separate checkpoints where
fans were searched and tickets checked, but the day passed
without any serious security incidents in Paris.
Inside the stadium, the mood was set by a colourful opening
ceremony followed by a stirring rendition of ‘La Marseillaise’
before kick-off but the game itself was far less entertaining.
Payet proves he is a star performer
Paul Pogba was billed as the star of this France team but it
was Payet who was the outstanding performer against
Romania.
This game will be remembered for his winning goal but he
was also behind almost all of Frances’s best moments going
forward.
Before setting up Giroud’s goal, he put chances on a plate
for the Arsenal striker and Griezmann but both missed the
target.
He made no such mistake himself but was overwhelmed
with emotion soon afterwards, and was substituted in tears.
“At the start of the season, a lot of people would have found
it hard to believe I would be here,” said Payet after the
game.
“I have got here by working hard. When I saw the stadium
tonight I knew I was going to have fun.”

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