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Last-gasp France defeat Albania to reach last 16

Published: Wednesday 15 June 2016, 22.07CET
France 2-0 Albania
The match was goalless until Antoine Griezmann shattered Albania's resolve with a 90th-minute header, Dimitri Payet then making sure.
by Wayne Harrison at Stade Vélodrome

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Match statistics

FranceAlbania

Goals scored2
 
0
Possession (%)59
 
41
Total attempts21
 
9
on target2
 
0
off target10
 
4
blocked9
 
5
against woodwork1
 
1
Corners6
 
4
Offsides1
 
1
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed16
 
13
Fouls suffered12
 
13

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 16/06/2017 10:40 CET
SSI Err
Published: Wednesday 15 June 2016, 22.07CET

Last-gasp France defeat Albania to reach last 16

France 2-0 Albania
The match was goalless until Antoine Griezmann shattered Albania's resolve with a 90th-minute header, Dimitri Payet then making sure.


Substitute Antoine Griezmann eased France's frustration in Marseille with a 90th-minute header, before Dimitri Payet made certain, as Les Bleus overcame a dogged Albania side to become the first team into the UEFA EURO 2016 knockout stage. 

Didier Deschamps' men were running out of time and ideas when Griezmann met Adil Rami's cross from the right, breaking Albanian hearts. Payet curled in a second in the sixth minute of additional time, giving the Group A scoreline a somewhat flattering look.

Gianni De Biasi's disciplined charges had made light of the absence of their suspended captain, 91-cap former Marseille player Lorik Cana. Set up in a 4-5-1 system, they did their best to quell the partisan crowd. Albania negotiated the first period with little cause for alarm, their relative comfort highlighted by the fact their opponents failed to register a shot on target.

Payet on another special night

France survived a scare early in the second half when they laboured to deal with Armando Sadiku's cross into the area, the ball hitting Bacary Sagna and striking Hugo Lloris's left-hand upright.

Substitute Paul Pogba blazed over as the contest became increasingly frenetic, before the in-form Olivier Giroud headed a Patrice Evra centre against a post. They were saved by Griezmann, Payet's effort then icing the cake.

Man of the match: Dimitri Payet
France's match winner on opening night, the excellent No8 did it again as he capped an impressive display with the last-gasp drive that clinched it on his old Marseille stomping ground. His set pieces caused Albania plenty of problems and he created six openings for team-mates. He was No1 on the Player Barometer before today; he will take some shifting on this evidence.

Hot streak ends
Giroud entered the game having scored eight goals in his last six starts. He spurned his best opportunity after 68 minutes, glancing wide Kingsley Coman's left-wing delivery. Moments later the No9 rattled the woodwork, an unsatisfying evening's work abbreviated when he was replaced by local favourite André-Pierre Gignac with 14 minutes left.

Tactical switches
Deschamps' dalliance with 4-2-3-1 – he had drafted in Coman and Anthony Martial for Griezmann and Pogba respectively – did not last long. With France having lacked any sort of fluency, Martial made way for Pogba at the break and immediately the two-time winners asked more questions of Albania.

EURO 1984 highlights: France 3-2 Portugal

'Une ambiance extraordinaire'
Stade Vélodrome had witnessed a couple of memorable France victories – the extra-time thriller against Portugal in the EURO '84 semis and the 3-0 defeat of South Africa in the hosts' 1998 FIFA World Cup opener. Tonight was another, the 68,000 fans helping to generate what Emmanuel Petit, who played in that latter match, referred to in Wednesday's edition of regional newspaper La Provence as the stadium's "awesome atmosphere".

Team reporters' views from Stade Vélodrome
David Crossan, France (@UEFAcomDavidC)
After a lacklustre first half, France improved in the second, looking more comfortable and more energetic following the reversion to a 4-3-3 formation. They got their reward late on, but overall did not muster enough attempts on target.

Tony Pandovski, Albania (@UEFAcomTonyP)
Having made three changes, De Biasi fielded a side with a lot of energy. Wingers Andi Lila and Ledian Memushaj offered more speed, strength and a threat on the break. Organised defensively, Albania almost survived against a star-studded French outfit.

Rami: We never stopped believing

Last updated: 12/07/16 17.48CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000448/match=2017885/postmatch/report/index.html#france+into+knockout+stage

Lineups

France

France

Albania

Albania

1
LlorisHugo Lloris (GK) (C)
1
BerishaEtrit Berisha (GK)
3
EvraPatrice Evra
2
LilaAndi Lila
Substitution71
4
RamiAdil Rami
3
LenjaniErmir Lenjani
5
KantéN'Golo Kanté
Yellow Card88
4
HysajElseid Hysaj
8
PayetDimitri Payet
Goal90+6
7
AgolliAnsi Agolli (C)
9
GiroudOlivier Giroud
Substitution77
9
Memushaj                      Ledian Memushaj
11
MartialAnthony Martial
Substitution46
10
SadikuArmando Sadiku
14
MatuidiBlaise Matuidi
13
KukeliBurim Kukeli
Yellow Card55
Substitution74
19
SagnaBacary Sagna
15
MavrajMërgim Mavraj
20
ComanKingsley Coman
Substitution68
18
Arlind AjetiArlind Ajeti
Substitution85
21
KoscielnyLaurent Koscielny
22
AbrashiAmir Abrashi
Yellow Card81

Substitutes

16
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK)
12
ShehiOrges Shehi (GK)
23
CostilBenoît Costil (GK)
23
HoxhaAlban Hoxha (GK)
2
JalletChristophe Jallet
6
VeseliFrédéric Veseli
Substitution85
6
CabayeYohan Cabaye
8
BashaMigjen Basha
7
GriezmannAntoine Griezmann
Substitution68
Goal90
11
GashiShkëlzen Gashi
10
GignacAndré-Pierre Gignac
Substitution77
14
XhakaTaulant Xhaka
Substitution74
12
SchneiderlinMorgan Schneiderlin
16
ÇikalleshiSokol Çikalleshi
13
MangalaEliaquim Mangala
17
AlijiNaser Aliji
15
PogbaPaul Pogba
Substitution46
19
BalajBekim Balaj
17
DigneLucas Digne
20
KaçeErgys Kaçe
18
SissokoMoussa Sissoko
21
RoshiOdise Roshi
Substitution71
22
UmtitiSamuel Umtiti

Coach

Didier Deschamps (FRA) Giovanni de Biasi (ALB)

Referee

William Collum (SCO)

Assistant referees

Damien MacGraith (IRL), Francis Connor (SCO)

Fourth official

Michael Oliver (ENG)

Additional assistant referees

Bobby Madden (SCO), John Beaton (SCO)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution