Payet, Giroud lead France past pesky Romania to open Euro 2016

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  • Giroud scores in second half
  • Stanciu wins PK
  • Stancu converts
  • Payet scores clever winner

Dimitri Payet‘s magical season continues, as the West Ham man scored an 89th minute goal to lead hosts France to a 2-1 win over Romania in the opening match of Euro 2016 on Friday.

Olivier Giroud also scored for France. Nicolae Stanciu won a PK that Bogdan Stancu converted to level things at 1 within minutes at the Stade de France.

Romania gets Switzerland on Wednesday, while France hosts Albania. Switzerland and Albania open their tournaments on Saturday.

[ PREVIEWS: Group A | B | C | D | E | F ]  

Maybe there were nerves for a young French team at home, but Romania were unlucky to be scoreless after a pair of terrific chances inside of the first five minutes.

France certainly found its footing, and Giroud headed wide before Griezmann headed an in-tight shot off the near post.

Romania’s stingy defense had plenty of trouble with Dimitri Payet and Griezmann, the latter having a pass from the former turned wide of the goal in the 37th minute.

Stancu chested to volley an opportunity wide early in the second half. While Romania were as stubborn as expected with France in possession, Anghel Iordănescu’s side was prepared to attack as well.

The French were better, though, and Paul Pogba hammered a Payet cross on goal only to see Fiorentina backstop Ciprian Tătărușanu make a terrific reaction save.

They weren’t booing, they were Girouding.

Perhaps that’ll be the claim of French fans at Saint-Denis after Olivier Giroud overcame being a prime boo target for almost an hour to give France the opening goal.

But Stancu won a penalty in his driving past Patrice Evra in the 64th minute, and he’d take the offering against Hugo Lloris of Tottenham. He did not miss. 1-1.

Here’s the foul against Evra. There was certainly embellishment, but is it anything France can truly complain about?

It wouldn’t be enough, of course, as Payet knifed his way to the top of the 18 to score with a shot we’ve seen him deploy several times in the Premier League this season.