France 2-0 Albania: Two late goals secure last 16 place for hosts

France 2-0 Albania

By Andy Hyslop

  • Anthony Martial starts the game for France
  • Late goals from Griezmann and Payet give host nation the three points

France needed to late goals from Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet to a secure a second successive win in the group stages.

Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann had started the game on the bench as he and Pogba were replaced by Martial and Kingsley Coman as France made two changes from their opening game.

These changes saw France make a change in formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 with Martial, Payet and Coman operating behind Giroud.

Giroud and Coman were operating on the flanks as Didier Deschamps looked to add some pace to his attack but at times in the first-half they were pedestrian.

Deschamps opted to take United forward Martial off at half-time, replacing him with Pogba.

France Dominate

The hosts nation dominated possession and created a number of chances but failed to get any real efforts on target until Griezmann headed the opening in the 89th minute.

France had 60% possession and managed a total of 22 shots on the Albanian goal but only had two shots on target that resulted in the two goals.

France could have fallen behind just after half-time when Ledian Memushaj bundled a cross past French keeper Hugo Lloris, only see the ball come back off the post.

The breakthrough for France came when Griezmann nodded in Adil Rami’s right-wing cross on the stroke of 90 minutes.

Then Payet confirmed the win with the final kick of the game to give the West Ham playmaker two goals in two games in the tournament.

France in last 16

The win gives France two wins out of two and secures their qualification for the last 16. The first team to do so.

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In the groups other game, Switzerland and Romania drew 1-1 to leave the Swiss second on four points, while Romania have one point.

The final games in the group see France play Switzerland and Romania face Albania. As long as France avoid defeat against Switzerland they will progress as group winners.

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About Andrew Hyslop 398 Articles

Creator of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and writer of football books https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01M1RVX27

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