UEFA Euro 2016: France 2-0 Albania

France needed two late goals from Griezman 90′ and Payet 90’+6 to secure a 2-0 victory over Albania at Stade Velodrome. The expectations were high for the second game of the tournament and before the first goal the French could not break the deadlock as Albania was close to come away with a major shocker in this tournament.

With the win, France has now 6 points, leads group A and is the first team to be qualified to the Round of 16. As for Payet, he is been the man of the match in both games and has scored two goals in the last moments of each match against Romania and Albania.  He has been so far the most notable player of the tournament.

We hear from payet and coach Deschamps after the dramatic finish in Marseille:


“Once again I made the difference and I’ve known for a while that my island [Reunion] is right behind me and there is fervent support for Les Bleus. They’re very proud that France have made it through to the last 16. What’s great is that the late goals are nothing new. Since March, when we played the Netherlands, we’ve shown we can go out and win games late. We had to be patient”.

Deschamps, France coach:
“Albania played with a lot of heart and spirit. They defended well and have the ability to counterattack. We might have scored earlier, we had a lot of chances. While it was goalless it was a good result for Albania. It’s always difficult against teams that keep it tight. Once we finally got going we let loose a bit, albeit slightly late in the day.

Paul Pogba [being on the bench] was more of a tactical decision. With that system I thought we needed two scrappers in the middle of the park. As for Antoine Griezmann, I’m managing him. Neither he nor Pogba is happy. Often players who come off the bench can make the difference. That was the case in the opening match and again tonight.

Dimitri Payet has become more consistent. He’s always had ability and a lot of confidence. Now, in one-on-one situations and challenges, he’s always up for the fight. Clearly we didn’t do everything well. If you’ve seen a team that have, please tell me. We were a bit laborious in the first 45 minutes because Albania were physically fresh”.