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Euro 2016: France 2 - Albania 0

CCTV.com

06-16-2016 10:52 BJT

In Euro 2016, tournament host France faced Albania in Group A Wednesday, with a chance to secure a spot in the knockout stage with a win. Les Bleus were searching for their first title at the continental championship in 16 years, and coach Didier Deschamps chose to replace under-performing midfielder Paul Pogba with Anthony Martial; Kingsley Coman started instead of Antoine Griezmann.

MARSEILLE, June 16, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Dimitri Payet (L) of France competes during the Euro 2016 Group A soccer match between France and Albania in Marseille, France, June 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Tao Xiyi)

MARSEILLE, June 16, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Dimitri Payet (L) of France competes during the Euro 2016 Group A soccer match between France and Albania in Marseille, France, June 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Tao Xiyi)

But after a frustrating first half of few real chances for the hosts, Deschamps quickly reconsidered his options and Pogba replaced Martial for the start of the second half.

France came close when Dimitri Payet met Olivier Giroud’s nice lay-off to hit an inviting delivery toward the back post where Pogba rushed in only to fire inches over.

Coman was replaced by Griezmann midway through the half as Les Bleus pushed for the opening goal. But it was not until the 90th minute that Griezmann broke the deadlock when he rose to meet Adil Rami’s cross.

And six minutes later Payet claimed his second of the competition with a fine curling strike that gave France a 2-0 victory.

Swiss get closer to reach knock-out stage

Switzerland faced Romania in the other match of the group. Swiss captain Stephan Lichtsteiner pulled Alexandru Chipciu’s shirt in the box, which gave Romania a penalty and Bogdan Stancu did not waste the opportunity to make it 1-0.

Switzerland, who kicked off the tournament with a 1-0 win over Albania, squandered several chances until a powerful half-volley from Admir Mehmedi leveled the tie on 57 minutes and it ended in a 1-1 draw.

With two victories, France have secured a ticket to the round of 16. Switzerland has four points and looks likely to be the second-placed team to advance. Romania and Albania, who face each other in the last group match, both remain hopeful for a place in the knock-out stage.

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