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France Struggles to Win Albania 2 – 0

Secures a place to the next Round

A 90th-minute header by substitute striker Antoine Griezmann and a stoppage-time special by Dimitri Payet secured France a heartstopping 2-0 win over Albania to send the hosts through as the first team into the last 16 of Euro 2016.

France had struggled to make any impression on a determined Albanian defence and as the clock ticked into the last minute neither team had managed a shot on target – though both had hit the post.

They had needed an 89th-minute Payet goal to beat Romania in their first game and it was even later when centre back Adil Rami swung in a hopeful cross that Griezmann guided expertly home for Les Bleus.

France coach Didier Deschamps handed starts to Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial, but if the plan was for their speed and mobility to stretch the Albanians out wide it was a failure.

France instead played a tense, risk-free 45-minutes with neither wide man making in-roads, one smart Coman turn apart, and managed only two wayward Olivier Giroud headers

Deschamps took action at half-time, introducing Paul Pogba for Martial and within a minute Coman nudged a header inches wide.

However, with Albania taking every opportunity to slow the game – half the team taking it in turns to go down with cramp – France struggled to get up any head of steam.

It was looking as if they would have to settle for a point until Griezmann struck, with Payet adding the icing.

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Written by Kalema Lawrence

No one tells me what to write, so I will never tell you what to think.

Full-time entertainment blogger and seasoned Travel article writer. Reach me at +256 703 245760 and kalemalawren@gmail.com

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