The EUROs Kick Off!: France vs Romania Match Report
Posted by John Smith | Published on June 11, 2016
The EURO 2016 campaign began yesterday as the hosts France kicked off the tournament against Group A opponents Romania. The tournament started in fantastic fashion, with the game filled with a great amount of action and intensity as the hosts beat Romania 2-1.
The game was looking to finish at a disappointing – but deserved – 1-1 scoreline between the two sides, until a cracking strike from midfielder Dimitri Payet secured the victory for the French side. There was an increasing pile of stress added onto the team late on, everyone continued to look at France as the favourites to win the competition, but, there were aspects of the game where France did not look like convincing winners.
The game immediately began with action, with Romania nearly completing a dream start at the very beginning. They should have been winning inside the first four minutes as Stanciu floated a corner in, which was then flicked on by Florin Andone. However, as the ball was flicked to the feet of Stancu, he was shocked to received it and was forced to shoot at first instinct – allowing Lloris to make the save for France.
France then had their first true impact on the game sooner after, Payet produced his first chance of the game, crossing to the near post, but Giroud was unsuccessful in meeting the chance and failed to open the scoring for his country. France began to improve on their overall game, but once again failed to open up the scoring of the EUROs following two misses from Antoine Griezmann. The attacker had his first shot saved by the Romanian keeper, with his rebounding header striking the post, just before fifteen minutes of the game.
The game became slow following Griezmann’s chance. The defensive style of Romania proved to be effective in preventing France from securing chances for a remainder of the first half. Before the first half ended, France struggled to create goal scoring chances. Another cross by Payet before the 40th minute was met by Griezmann, but was once again a failed attempt at scoring.
The second half saw the reintroduction of the defensive style that Romania succeeded with the half prior. The second half started off very similar to the first, with Stanciu having a great chance to score early on, but unfortunately, failed to make anything out of the chance.
The game continued to be slow, with a brief amount of major chances, until France finally took the lead in the 57th minute. Olivier Giroud was rather poor in the first half, missing a fair amount of chances. However, Payet proved his brilliance once again by flicking in a cross from the right hand side, which was met by the head of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, beating Romanian keeper Tatarusanu to the ball. The keeper claimed he was fouled by Giroud, but it was obvious that the goal stood, and Giroud had earned the first goal of the tournament.
Unfortunately, the lead did not last long for Les Bleus, as left back Patrice Evra stupidly tripped up Stanciu in the area as he attempted to make something of the play. Despite trying to argue with referee, the penalty stood with Bogdan Stancu placing the penalty in the bottom right corner.
The remainder of the game appeared to be rather lacklustre, Romania were playing for a draw whilst it was obvious that France were running out of ideas. Consequently, this finally ended late on as Dimitri Payet produced a spectacular goal to steal the win for the hosts. He made space for himself before making the decision to take a shot, which inevitably won the game for France.
France: Lloris 6; Sagna 6; Koscielny 6; Rami 7; Kante 9; Pogba 6; Matuidi 7; Payet 9; Giroud 7; Griezmann 6
Substitutes: Sissoko 5; Coman 6; Martial 6
Romania: Tatarusanu 6; Sapunaru 5; Chiriches 7; Grigore 6; Rat Dinca 6; Stanciu 7; Hoban 5; Pintlii 7; Popa 5; Stancu 7; Andone 6
Substitutes: Alibec 5; Chipciu 5; Torje 5
Man of the Match: Dimitri Payet
Choosing a deserving Man of the Match was rather difficult for this game as both N’Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet put up incredible performances for France. Both players were more than deserving to claim the Man of the Match award for the opening game of the EUROs. However, for me personally, Payet takes the Man of the Match. The West Ham midfielder was highly consistent on the attack, and continued to try and help the team score, with eight created chances to his name. On top of that, Payet was involved in both goals of the game, scoring a thunder strike along with producing the assist for Giroud’s opener of the game.