Wednesday , November 29 2023

Euro 2016 – Group A: France & Switzerland win their opening matches!

UEFA EURO 2016The 2016 UEFA European Championships is being played across France from June 10 to July 10 for the first time with 24 nations across 10 venues in nine cities with the French capital Paris being the only city with two venues in the Stade de France and the Park de Prince.

The defending double champions are Spain, who are three time record champions along with Germany.

GROUP – Matchday 1

France 2-1 (0-0) Romania

The host France had the tough task of having to open the tournament at the Stade de France against Romania with the opener often being a dangerous match for the favourites and this game wasn’t any different.

Romania had the first chance of the game through Bogdan Stancu with keeper Hugo Lloris making a world class goalline save, but France looked nervous against a strong defensive Romania, who made pointed attacks.

After a goalless first session, France went ahead in the 57th minute through a Olivier Giroud header off a Dimitri Payet cross, but the lead did not last too long as Romania equalised eight minutes later of a Bogdan Stancu penalty following a foul from Patrice Evra on Nicolae Stanciu.

But man of the match Dimitri Payet scored a brilliant long range 89th minute winner for France to give the hosts a perfect start to the tournament, while Romania would consider themselves unlucky not to have gotten something out of this game.

Carlsberg Man of the Match: Dimitri Payet (France) #FRAROU

Albania 0-1 (0-1) Switzerland

Debutants Albania faced a rising Switzerland in Lens with numerous players having Albanian roots, but having been brought up in Switzerland like the Xhaka brothers playing against each other today.

The Swiss were the clear favourites and they went ahead in the 5th minute following a Xherdan Shaqiri corner which a Fabian Schär header beating Albanian keeper Atrit Berisha.

Switzerland had more of the game thereafter but were unable to score a second goal and had problems whenever Albania played directly to their strikers with keeper Yann Sommer making a great foot save against Armando Sadiku in the 31st minute.

But Albania weakened themselves as their captain Lorik Cana received his second yellow card in the 36th minute for an intentional handball. The resultant freekick by Dzemaili hit the post and the Swiss again missed chances galore to increase their lead.

Albania stay in the game and nearly equalised through substitute Gashi, but keeper Sommer made a sentational save to deny Albania a point and Switzerland deservingly won the game.

Carlsberg Man of the Match: Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) #ALBSUI

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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