France Opens Euro 2016 with a Close Call
The plan was for hosts of Euro 2016 to open their quest for the trophy by knocking around a tomato can.
Problem was, nobody told Romania.
This match was as much in doubt as the 2-1 victory would indicate.
If anyone would've even hinted that Les Bleus could lose this one, the watchdogs would've been out in full force. A draw, though, was always on the cards. Romania was ready.
With an emotional charge generated by the entire Republic and a star-studded lineup, France should've been able to put something on the board soon enough.
But it took until the 56th minute to break through.
Olivier Giroud may have underperformed for Arsenal, but for his country, dude delivered again:
Arsène Wenger must be wondering what goes missing in club matches.
France got too comfortable with the environment, though, displaying naïve behavior as Romania were justifiably awarded a penalty.
Bogdan Stancu then punished them for their sin.
That went in like a wrecking ball, creating a anxiety attack of Gallic proportions.
Dudes gotta remember: rust never sleeps.
Then came the moment of magic and brilliance from France’s late bloomer, Dimitri Payet:
Who would believed it was his left foot that hit the perfect shot?
Still, for one of the overwhelming favorites, this was an underwhelming performance.