Payet the hero as late stunner sees France snatch victory from Romania
Reuters

Dimitri Payet, take a bow.

Predicted to be a one-sided affair between a team rife with attacking impetus but a shaky defence and a side that loves to defend, Friday's Euro 2016 opener between France and Romania was anything but.

Payet was the hero, scoring an obscene 89th-minute left-footed effort from outside of the area to give France a 2-1 victory after dominating the second half with pulsating runs and timely passes.

Not bad for a right-footed player who a year ago was on the fringes of the national side.

The merchant of magical moments was in tears as he marched off the pitch in the 91st minute, and understandably so; this match was his.

Olivier Giroud made up for a first half littered with failed attempts by scoring his eighth goal in six matches for Les Bleus, handing the hosts a 57th-minute lead courtesy of a soaring header beyond an unsure Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Related - Watch: Much-maligned Giroud scores opening goal of Euro 2016

Redemption for Giroud and corner-taker Payet who both experienced underwhelming opening stanzas.

France's joy didn't last long, as a daft attempt at a tackle by Patrice Evra on Nicolae Stanciu merited the ref's attention, calling a penalty on the Juventus left-back.

Destined to score, Bogdan Stancu stepped up and drilled it past a lunging Hugo Lloris. Game on.

Romania nearly opened the scoring before the remnants of pre-match pyrotechnics had dispersed into the Saint-Denis sky.

Related - Watch: Lloris makes point-blank save on Romania's Stancu

The Stade de France was startled by a fourth-minute goal-mouth scramble, as a streaking and unmarked Stancu was given a split-second chance to open the scoring, only to have his attempt thwarted by France No. 1 Lloris.

France was the better side in the opening stanza, though Romania made a good account of itself. The stingiest defence in qualifying, with just two goals surrendered in 10 matches, Romania benefited from an unbalanced French squad.

Arsenal striker Giroud was far from clinical, but he wasn't alone in being underwhelming. Antoine Griezmann missed a brilliant chance to score, putting his header off the post.

Ahead of next Wednesday's match against Albania in Marseille, Didier Deschamps will have some tactical decisions to make.

Payet was playing out of position on the wing, and a midfield of N'Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, and Paul Pogba was absent of a playmaker with a penchant for a perfectly weighted pass. A series of second-half substitutions pushed Payet centrally, and the West Ham standout bossed the match.

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Payet the hero as late stunner sees France snatch victory from Romania
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