France 2-1 Romania: Payet scores late winner in Euro opener

France's players celebrate after opening the scoring during a friendly international football match between France and Germany ahead of the Euro 2016, on November 13, 2015 at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Dimitri Payet was the hero as France defeated Romania 2-1 in the opening game of the Euro 2016.

The opening ceremony of the Euro 2016 was a master-class as the pre-events rolled on smoothly into a fine start to the competition.

Romania had the first chance to break the deadlock and dampen the atmosphere inside the Stade de France when a corner was flicked on to the back post where Nicolae Stanciu was left unmarked but fired his shot straight at Hugo Lloris from point-blank range.

At the other end West Ham United’s midfielder Dimitri Payet floated a cross into the middle and Olivier Giroud found a bit of space but he steered his header wide of the target with just the goalkeeper to beat.

France nearly took the lead as Juventus midfield maestro Paul Pogba slipped a great pass out for the overlapping Bacary Sagna who played in a one-time pass into the path of Antoine Griezmann but the Atletico Madrid striker missed his first-time kick.

However, the ball rebounded off Vlad Chiriches back into his path but his header could only hit the post after beating Ciprian Tatarusanu in goal for Romania.

Chiriches became the first man to pick up a yellow in the tournament for a silly foul on Olivier Giroud while his teammate Razvan Rat also picked up a yellow as the first half ended goalless.

Romania had the first chance again at the restart as Bogdan Stancu found himself free inside the penalty box on marked but he wasted the chance with a wayward finish after controlling the ball beautifully with his chest.

Payet danced passed the Romanian defense before releasing Pogba at the edge of the box but he fired straight at the goalkeeper.

The deadlock was finally broken by Arsenal man Giroud who rose up highest to finish a delightful cross from Payet to give France a 1-0 lead.

Romania immediately found a way back into the game as Juventus defender Patrice Evra brought down Nicolae Stanciu and namesake Bogdan Stancu stepped up to make it 1-1.

Martial came on for Paul Pogba and immediately tested the goalkeeper with a shot just outside the box but the goalkeper was up to the task.

With two minutes to the end of the game Payet blasted in a ferocious shot from 25 yards to seal the late win.