EURO 2016: Group A finished, first conclusions

First points for Albania in the UEFA finals, a clear sign that there are no easy teams, and sides like Albania are no longer punching-bags to clock up goal differences. The fact that Albania and Iceland are in the final phase is no fluke, as both teams have shown. Romania started very well but has become a huge disappointment.

France wins the group, Switzerland second, Albania third and Romania is out. France will face the third place in Group C, D or E. Switzerland will face the second place in Group C. Albania, if qualified as one of the best third-placed teams, will face the winner of Group B or C.

France 0 Switzerland 0

Switzerland started the first half strongly but France came back into it, not scoring but the first half belonged to the home team (on 18', Pogba fired against the crossbar). The beginning of the second half also belonged to Switzerland, but France again came back in waves, Griezmann having a good opportunity in front of goal on 57', but was denied by Sommer in the Swiss goal.

More of the same, waves of Swiss and French attacks, an excellent move down the right by Sissoko, crossing for Payet, who volleyed first time with his left foot on 75', hitting the bar. Ball possession 59 per cent to the Swiss, against France's 41%, but 13 French shots to 6 for Switzerland.


Lloris (Captain), Evra, Rami, Cabaye, Griezmann (Matuidi), Gignac, Pogba, Sissoko, Sagna, Coman (Payet), Koscielny


Sommer, Lichtsteiner (Captain), Embolo (Seferovic), Xhaka, Behrami, Rodríguez, Dzemaili, Mehmedi (Lang), Djourou, Schär, Shaqiri (Gelson Fernandes)

Romania 0 Albania 1

                    Sadiku 43

The first time Romania has lost to Albania in a competitive soccer match in 68 years. Some say Romania deserved the draw but what counts is the fish in the net, which Sadiku delivered before the break. 16 shots to Romania, 14 to Albania. Romania can complain about a ball on the woodwork, but...



Tatarusanu, Matel, Hoban, Chiriches (Captain), Alibec (Torje), Stanciu, Prepelita (Sanmartean), Stancu, Popa (Andone), Grigore, Sapunaru


Berisha, Lila, Lenjani (Roshi), Hysaj, Agolli (Captain), Basha (Cana), Memushaj, Sadiku (Balaj), Mavraj, Ajeti, Abrashi


Group A

France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland

June 10 (20) France 2 Romania 1 (Giroud, Payet) (Stanciu)

June 11 (14) Albania 0 Switzerland 1 (Schär)

June 15 (17) Romania 1 Switzerland 1 (Stancu) (Mehmedi)

June 15 (20) France 2 Albania 0 (Griezmann, Payet)

June 20 (20) Romania 0 Albania 1 (Sadiku); Switzerland 0 France 0


France 3 2 1 0 4 1 7

Switzerland 3 1 2 0 2 1 5

Albania 3 1 0 2 1 3 3

Romania 3 0 1 2 2 4 1

Previous games

Republic of Ireland 0    Belgium 3

                                         Lukaku (48, 70)

                                         Witsel (61)

Basically on the day Ireland did not have what it takes and we now see how good Italy is, having beaten Belgium 2-0 in the opening round in group E. Belgium fired 18 shots to eleven, seven on target against two. This does not mean that Ireland sat back and watched, there were 4 shots blocked and 4 corners and ball possession was more or less balanced at 54% to Belgium against 46 to Ireland.

Republic of Ireland

Randolph, Coleman, Clark, O'Shea (Captain), Whelan, McCarthy (McClean), Long (Keane), Hendrick, Ward, Brady, Hoolahan (McGeady)


Courteois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Witsel, De Bruyne, Lukaku (Benteke), Hazard (Captain), Carrasco (Mertens), Meunier, Dembélé (Nainggolan)


Iceland 1 Hungary 1

Sigurdsson (40, pen) Saevarsson (88, own goal)

Iceland could have clinched the game in the last minute, after Hungary committed a foul at the entrance to the penalty area. Iceland's goal came from a penalty on 40 minutes but in the second half Hungary played some excellent attacking and passing soccer, translated into a deserved equalizer on 88', in the event an own goal from Saevarsson, but with several Hungarian forwards around him. A fair result for two excellent teams.


Halldórsson, Saevarsson, Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Sigthorsson (Gudjohnsen), Sigurdsson, Arnason, Bödvarsson (Finnbogason), Gunnarsson (Hallfredsson), Skúlason


Kiraly, Lang, Kadar, Dzsudzsak, Nagy, Gera, Kleinheisler, Steiber (Nikolic), Priskin (Böde), Guzmics, Juhasz (Szalai)


Portugal 0 Austria 0

Two corners in the first two minutes for Portugal but on three, Arnautovic found himself alone in front of Rui Patrício in the Portuguese goalmouth but could not find any power in his header. Portugal kept pressing, Ronaldo firing just wide on 22'. On 29', it was Nani who blasted his header against the post. But Austria was not a punching sack and kept coming at Portugal throughout the first half, culminating in a dangerous situation on 40' when a free kick conceded by Pepe (who appears unable to play without violence) on the edge of the area ended up in the ball being blocked in Patrício's goalmouth.


Portugal had more of the ball in the first half but it would not have been scandalous if Austria had scored, such was their organizing capacity.


The second half started with Ilsanker testing Patrício on 47', the on 54', Quaresma was fouled on the right and Cristiano Ronaldo saw his venomous shot saved by Almer. Ronaldo had several opportunities, culminating in the penalty on 78', awarded for a foul on him in the area. The Portuguese captain tried an intelligent penalty, rather than blasting it, but ended up firing it against the left post. As usual, Portugal leaves it all to the last game of the group phase to scramble together a result. This time it is against a very impressive Hungary.


Patrício, Pepe, Guerreiro, Ricardo Carvalho, Ronaldo (Captain), Moutinho, Vierinha, William Carvalho, Gomes (Éder), Nani (Rafa Silva), Quaresma (João Mário)


Almer, Hinteregger, Fuchs, Ilsanker (Wimmer), Arnautovic, Alaba (Schöpf), Harnik, Baumgartlinger, Prödl, Klein, Sabitzer (Hinterseer)

Italy 1 Sweden 0

Éder (88)

It took Italy until minute 88 to break Sweden down, meaning now in Group E that Italy heads the group with 6 points and Sweden has just one point from two games, one goal scored, which was an own goal by Clark against the Republic of Ireland. In today's game, Italy attacked more, had more shots (8 to 4), had more corners (7 to 4), and saw a ball rebound from the woodwork, although Sweden retained the ball slightly more, with a possession of 53% to 47%.


Buffon (Captain), Chiellini, Candreva, Florenzi (Sturaro), Pellè (Zaza), Barzagli, De Rossi (Thiago Motta), Éder Parolo, Bonucci, Giaccherini


Isaksson, Johansson, Granqvist, Olsson, Forsberg (Lewicki), Larsson, Ekdal (Durmaz), Källström, Ibrahimovic (Captain), Lindelöf, Guidetti (Berg)

Croatia 2 Czech Republic 2

Perisic (37) Skoda (76)

Rakitic (59) Necid (89, pen)

Everything was going well for Croatia until Luka Modric, the playmaker and brain of the team, wasforced to go off. Croatia had 19 shots to 7, saw 5 saved against the Czech Republic's three, had 11 corners to 2 and a ball possession of 56% against 44%. Mandzukic could have put the game out of reach before the Czech Republic found the resolve and clawed back into the game. But Modric had completed forty-one of his country's 47 passes and without him, who is Croatia?


Subasic, Strinic (Vrsaljko), Perisic, Corluka, Rakitic (Schildenfeld), Modric (Kovasic), Srna (Captain), Brozovic, Mandzukic, Badelj, Vida

Czech Republic

Cech, Kaderabek, Hubnik, Sivok, Limbersky, Rosicky (Captain), Plasil (Necid), Krejci, Skalak (Sural), Lafata (Skoda), Darida


Spain 3 Turkey 0

Morata (34,48)

Nolito (37)

Spain is on fire, no doubt about it. There is a verve to their play, the tiki-taka short-passing game is back, there is a spring, but not an arrogance in their step, there is team-play, there is "garra", or fighting spirit, there is skill, there is energy, there is a cockiness. In short, all Spain needs to win the competition is the lucky star which accompanies every champion. From what we have seen so far, and from what I have seen tonight here in Nice, Spain is not just a contender, but the contender.


Spain 3 Turkey 0


Morata (34,48)


Nolito (37)


Spain is on fire, no doubt about it. There is a verve to their play, the tiki-taka short-passing game is back, there is a spring, but not an arrogance in their step, there is team-play, there is "garra", or fighting spirit, there is skill, there is energy, there is a cockiness. In short, all Spain needs to win the competition is the lucky star which accompanies every champion. From what we have seen so far, and from what I have seen tonight here in Nice, Spain is not just a contender, but the contender.




De Gea, Piqué, Busquets, Iniesta, Morata, Fàbregas (Koke), Ramos (Captain) Juanfran, Alba (Azpilicueta), Silva (Soriano), Nolito




Babacan, Balta, Çalhanoglu (Sahin), Gönül, Inan (Malli), Turan (Captain), Özyakup (Sahan), Topal, Tufan, Yilmaz, Erkin

Previous games

England 2 Wales 1

Vardy (56) Bale (42)

Sturridge (90+2)

England saw 65% of the play, especially more so in the second half, against Wales' 35% globally and this was translated into 21 shots against 6. England saw 8 blocked (against Wales' 2) and fired 4 on target, against Wales' 2. 9 corners to 3, a passing accuracy of 87% against 70%, are reasons why England won the match, just, and with a goal in extra time.


Hart, Walker, Rose, Cahill, Smalling, Sterling (Sturridge), Lallana (Rashford), Kane (Vardy), Rooney (Captain), Dier, Alli


Hennessey, Gunter, Taylor, Davies, Chester, A. Williams (Captain), Allen, Hal Robson-Kanu (Jonathan Williams), Ramsey, Bale, Ledley (David Edwards)


Ukraine 0 Northern Ireland 2

                  McAuley (49), McGinn (90+6)

66% to 34%, ball possession in Ukraine's favor, 17 shots to 13, more shots blocked. But losing 2-0, again? If Ukraine lost against Germany 4 days ago by the same result, and lost today to Northern Ireland 2-0, it is difficult to defend Ukraine's quality of soccer. It is the first time Northern Ireland beat Ukraine... and puts Ukraine's team in a very difficult position. From what we saw from the Poland team, Ukraine will have a very uphill battle to score the three points which might eventually allow a passage to the last 16. As with Russia, it is all very well to play ball on the park but at the end of the day, each and every game is a cup final and at this level, it is not how much ball possession you have, it how many fish you put in the net.



Pyatov, Khacheridi, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Kovalenko, (Zinchenko), Konoplyanka, Seleznyov (Zozulya), Shevchuk (Captain), Sydorchuk (Garmash), Fedetskiy, Rakitskiy


Northern Ireland

McGovern, McAuley, Johnny Evans, Davis (Captain), Washington (Magennis), Corry Evans (McNair), Dallas, Norwood, Hughes, Ward (McGinn), Cathcart


Germany 0 Poland 0

Milik almost did it for Poland, twice. Once again Germany crafted the upper hand through teamwork and individual graft, but always within the framework of the team, giving a ball possession of 63% to 37%, giving Germany 15 shots against Poland's seven and eight corners compared to two. By no means however, did Poland drop their arms and it would have been no surprise to see Germany defeated. This is not the side that thrashed Scolari's boys 7-1 in the semi-final of FIFA 2014 in Brazil.


Neuer (Captain), Hector, Höwedes, Hummels, Khedira, Özil, Draxler (Mário Gomez), Müller, Boateng, Kroos, Götze (Schürrle)



Fabianski, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Maczynski (Jodlowiec), Milik, Lewandowski (Captain), Krychowiak, Grosicki (Peszko), Glik, Blaszczykowski (Kapusta), Piszczek


Russia 1 Slovakia 2

Glushakov (80) Weiss (32) Hamsik (45)


Ball possession 62% to Russia, 32% to Slovakia, passing accuracy 88% to 79%, 6 corners to 5, 15 shots to nine, no cards to Russia, one to Slovakia, six Russian shots saved, to two saves against Slovakia. Conclusion: it is not enough to have the edge if you do not produce the goods, and this means fish in the net.



Akinfeev, Smolnikov, Ignashevich, Neustädter (Glushakov)  Kokorin (Shirokov), Smolov , Golovin (Mamaev),  V. Berezutski (Captain), Shatov, Schennikov, Dzyuba



Kozacik, Pekarik, Skrtel (Captain), Durica, Weiss (Svento), Duda (Nemec), Hubocan,Hamsik,Kucka, Mak (Duris), Pecovsky


Romania 1 Switzerland 1

Stancu (18. pen) Mehmedi (57)


Switzerland pressed more, had more of the ball (61 to 39%), had more corners (7 to 4), 19 shots to 14. All teams in the group have everything to play for, now that Switzerland and France meet in the next game and Romania faces Albania.


Tatarusanu, Rat (Filip), Chiriches,Chipciu, Pintilii (Hoban), Torje, Keserü, Prepelita, Stancu (Andone), Grigore, Sapunaru



Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Seferovic (Embolo), Xhaka, Behrami, Rodríguez, Dzemaili (Lang), Mehmedi , Djourou, Schär, Shaqiri (Tarashaj) 


France 2 Albania 0

Griezmann (90)

Payet (90+6)


Ball possession 59 to 41%, 22 shots to 8, France dominated a game in which both teams had their chances and both saw a ball come off the woodwork. But the home factor dominated and Payet put on a display, claiming pride of France for France in France 2016.



Lloris, Evra, Rami, Kante, Payet, Giroud (Gignac), Martial (Pogba), Matuidi, Sagna, Coman (Griezmann), Koscielny


Berisha, Lila (Roshi), Lenjani, Hysaj,Agolli, Memushaj, Sadiku, Kukeli (Xhaka), Mavraj, Ajeti, Abrashi (Veseli)


First Round

Portugal 1 Iceland 1

Nani (31) Birkir Bjarnason (50)

Ball possession 78 per cent to Portugal, 28 % to Iceland, 26 shots against 4, 9 on target (against the four). Portugal pressed but did not break through an ice-cold Icelandic defense.


Patrício, Vierinha, Pepe, Carvalho, Guerreiro, Danilo, Gomes (èder), João Mário (Quaresma), Moutinho (Renato Sanzhes), Ronaldo (Captain), Nani


Halldórsson, Saevarsson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Skúlason, Gudmundsson (Bjarnason), Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Sigthorsson (Finnbogason), Bödvarsson


Austria 0 Hungary 2

Szalai (62), Stieber (87)

Hungary had slightly more of the ball, attacked more, had more shots...Austria saw a ball come back off the woodwork and saw 5 shots saved, Kiraly being the busier of the two keepers. Dragovic was sent off for two yellow cards on 66', making it that much harder for Austria to climb the hill after Hungary scored.



Almer, Klein, Dragovic, Fuchs, Hinteregger, Junuzovic (Sabitzer), Baumgartlinger, Alaba, Arnautovic, Harnik (Schöpf), Janko (Okotie)


Kiraly, Lang, Fiola, Kadar, Guzmics, Nagy, Gera, Nemeth (Pinter), Dzsudzsak, Kleinheisler (Steiber), Szalai (Priskin)

Italy 2 Belgium 0

Giaccherini (32)

Pellè (90+3)

Belgium had not beaten Italy in a competitive match in 34 years. At the beginning of the first half, we understood why but as the half grew on, in end-to-end soccer, Belgium's midfield started to gain control, creating some danger for Buffon. However, Italy reacted and scored on 32 minutes through Giaccherini, then fired two shots at Courteois' goal in three minutes.

Belgium was far from tamed, and as Italy fell back and played the counter-attack, with seven players massing the midfield, Belgium surged forward and created several attacks which could have been more dangerous if the center-forward Lukaku had not been marked out of the game - he did not have one chance in the entire first half.

In the second, the game exploded, with attack after attack after attack being launched in waves by both teams. This was soccer at its best, its very best. Lukaku shot over on 53' with only the keeper to beat, Pellè answered for Italy, with a header testing Courteois, for the next five minutes it was Belgium, Italy, Belgium, Italy, Belgium, Italy. The waves became longer, both teams pressed and right at the end, an Italian counter-attack ended in Pellè's 2-0. Deserved for Italy, yes. Did Belgium deserve to lose by two goals? No, a draw would have been a fairer result.


Buffon (Captain), Chiellini, Darmian (De Sciglio), Candreva, Pellè, Barzagli, De Rossi (Motta), Éder (Immobile), Parolo, Bonucci, Giaccherini


Courteois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Nainggolan (Mertens), Vertonghen, Witsel, De Bruyne, Fellaini, Lukaku (Origi), Hazard (Captain), Ciman (Carrasco)

Republic of Ireland 1 Sweden 1

Hoolahan (48) Clark (own goal) (71)

Frankly, the Republic of Ireland should have come away with the three points from a game in which the Emerald Isle shone, in terms of imagination, determination, grit, flair and magic. Ireland had four attempts on target, against none for Sweden, a team which looked shocked and suffocated from the start. Ireland also saw a ball come back off the crossbar, although Sweden had more possession and a better pass rate, the motor of the team, Ibrahimovic, forcing his colleagues forward. Almost marked out of the game, there was little the brilliant Sweden captain could do. Sweden will be celebrating, Ireland ruing the result.

Republic of Ireland

Randolph, Coleman, Clark, O'Shea (Captain), Whelan, McCarthy (McGeady), Long, Hendrick, Walters (McClean), Brady, Hoolahan (Keane)


Isaksson, Lustig (Johansson), Granqvist, Olsson, Forsberg, Larsson, Källström, Ibrahimovic (Captain), Berg (Guidetti), Lindelöf, Lewicki (Ekdal)

Spain 1 Czech Republic 0

Piqué (87)

More possession, more shots, more corners, more shots on target, one goal scored, none conceded, sums up the game between Spain and the Czech Republic, a tream which nevertheless put up a spirited and organized defense.


De Gea, Piqué, Busquets, Iniesta, Morata (Aduriz), Fàbregas (Alcántara), Ramos (Captain) Juanfran, Alba, Silva, Nolito (Rodríguez)

Czech Republic

Cech, Kaderabek, Gebre Selassie (Sural), Hubnik, Sivok, Necid (Lafata), Limbersky, Rosicky (Captain) (Pavelka), Plasil, Krejci, Darida

Germany 2 Ukraine 0

Mustafi (19)

Schweinsteiger (90+2)

Mykhailo Fomenko's team was the first at the EURO 2016 championship to lose by two goals. Did Ukraine deserve to lose by two goals against Germany tonight? No way. Fomenko has created an organized side, showing good physical preparation, very good teamwork. Ukraine played some brave, solid soccer. Unfortunately, being brave and passing the ball around the pitch is not enough against a German team which purrs like a well-oiled Mercedes Benz, which works 24 hours a day for 25 years without stopping and without a breakdown...without conceding a goal.

Germany does not miss a pass and from beginning to end launches constant attacks on both flanks, in the center, on the ground, on the volley and in the air. Guardiola's passage in Bayern Munich also gave the German midfield the quality of tiki-taka, the short-passing game which is so difficult to play against.

Germany managed nine shots on target, against Ukraine's three and had a ball possession statistic of 62% to Ukraine's 38%. The maturity of Germany's game is impressive. Yet even with the 38 per cent of possession, Ukraine had the chances to change the game, especially in the first half. Germany is excellent but something indicates that Löw's side may not any more be über alles...


Neuer (Captain), Mustafi, Hector, Höwedes, Khedira, Özil, Draxler (Schürrle), Müller, Boateng, Kroos, Götze (Bastian Schweinsteiger)


Pyatov, Khacheridi, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Zozulya (Seleznyov), Kovalenko (Zinchenko), Konoplyanka, Shevchuk (Captain), Sydorchuk, Fedetskiy, Rakitskiy

Croatia 1  Turkey 0

Modric (41)

Srna, Perisic, Brozovic hit the crossbar. Modric scored with a long-range volley before the halfr-time break on 41'. There is no doubt which team deserved the three points. Croatia had 18 shots to 9, 6 on target against 2, although ball possession was divided almost equally, 51% to Croatia against Turkey's 49%. Yet again an excellent game of soccer, congratulations to both teams for maintaining the high standard we have seen so far here in France


Subasic, Strinic, Perisic (Kramanic), Corluka, Rakitic (Schildenfeld), Modric, Srna (Captain), Brozovic, Mandzukic (Pjaca), Badelj, Vida


Babacan, Balta, Çalhanoglu, Gönül, Inan, Tosun (Mor), Turan (Captain) (Yilmaz), Özyakup (Sen), Topal, Tufan, Erkin

Poland 1 Northern Ireland 0

Milik (51)


Nobody can deny that Poland deserved the win, although Northern Ireland showed spirit, graft and courage, organization and teamwork, witness of the reason why the team has reached the final phase of the EURO 2016 championship in France.


Poland had 18 shots against Northern Ireland's 2, 8 corners to 1 and a ball possession of 60 per cent against 40. This superiority however was not translated into goals and throughout the game, Northern Ireland looked as if the slender lead could be cut. It was not to be.



Szczesny, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Maczynski (Jodlowiec), Milik, Lewandowski (Captain), Krychowiak, Glik, Blaszczykowski (Grosicki), Piszczek, Kapusta (Peszko)


Northern Ireland

McGovern, McLaughlin, Ferguson (Washington), McAuley, Evans, Baird (Ward), David (Captain), Lafferty, Norwood, McNair (Dallas), Cathcart

In the age of globalized information, there are no secrets. Mighty Brazil was humiliated at home by Germany, playing tiki-taka, two years ago. Today, Albania, Wales and Iceland are participating as equals in the final phase of major championships. We saw why today. Wales got three points, Albania lost but was not outclassed.


Russia faced a young England team fired up by the cultured coach, Roy Hodgson. England today can pass the ball, can close the gaps at the back, can score and park the bus. Russia until today could not compete on equal terms with the world's best, except on rare occasions. Passes went astray, shots went wide...many Russians said "Soccer and Russia do not mix". Today, Russia re-wrote its footballing history.


Leonid Slutski's team fought on equal terms with an excellent and young England squad. Did Russia deserve to win the game? Frankly, no. But it would not have been a scandal if Russia did. Did Russia deserve to lose the game? Frankly, no. Conclusion: the result was fair.


England attacked more but the Russian defense was resolute throughout. And more, the Russian team respected England but was never over-awed.



England 1      Russia 1

Dier (73)         Berezutski (90+2)



Hart, Walker, Rose, Cahill, Smalling, Sterling (Milner), Lallana, Kane, Rooney (Captain), (Wilshere), Dier, Alli



Akinfeev, Smolnikov, Ignashevich, Neustädter (Glushakov), Kokorin, Smolov (Mamaev), Golovin (Shirokov), V. Berezutski (Captain), Shatov, Schennikov, Dzyuba

Switzerland 1 Albania 0.

Schär (5)

 A goal on five minutes from Schär was enough to seal the win for the Swiss but Albania showed why they have reached the finals stage with some impressive football and great organization. Albania's captain Lorik Cana was sent off for getting second yellow card on 36'.


Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Seferovic, Xhaka, Behrami, Rodríguez, Dzemaili (Frei), Mehmedi (Embolo), Djourou, Schär, Shaqiri (Gelson Fernandes)


Berisha, Lenjani, Hysaj, Cana, Agolli, Sadiku (Gashi), Kukeli, Khaka (Kaçe), Mavraj, Roshi (Çikalleshi), Abrashi


Wales 2                      Slovakia 1

Bale (10)                    Duda (61)

Robson-Kanu (81)


Slovakia saw one come back off the woodwork, saw 4 magnificent saves, had more ball possession, but Wales weathered the storm, held on and came back to clinch the winner. A magnificent team effort, proof that Wales is more than Gareth Bale. Chris Coleman substituted Williams for the goal-scorer: for Ján Kozák's side, Duda came on after 60 minutes and scored almost immediately.



Ward, Gunter, Taylor, Davies, Chester, A. Williams (Captain), Allen, Ramsey (J. Richards), Bale, Edwards (Ledley), J. Williams (Hal Robson-Kanu)



Kozacik, Pekarik, Skrtel (Captain), Durica, Weiss, Hrosovsky (Duda), Hamsik, Svento, Kucka (Stoch), Mak, Duris (Nemec)


France 2       Romania 1

Giroud (58)  Stanciu (pen.) (65)

Payet (89)

At the Stade de France, in Paris, Didier Deschamps' France, the hosts, faced Anghel Iordanescu's Romania. The teams had drawn four of their last five competitive matches and at the EURO, the last two encounters ended in a 1-0 win for Framce in 1996 and a 0-0 draw in 2008.


Iordanescu had said before the match started that he aimed to qualify for the next round and also to show quality football. And he delivered. At half-time, Romania had had an equal chance of a goal and had been denied a clear penalty.


The first situation of danger came on 4' after a corner to Romania, the ball was cleared off the French line by goalkeeper Lloris. On 10', Griezmann came back for France, getting a corner from which Giroud headed just wide. Giroud took advantage of a rebound on 14', firing against the post. On 36', Griezmann fired just wide as once again France created danger.


38 minutes, PENALTY TO ROMANIA!!


But not given by the referee Viktor Kassai. And one was clearly fouled in the penalty area, receiving a treacherous and dangerous kick to his knee.


The first half ended with Giroud heading over from a corner. Chances for both sides, France ahead in terms of attack, but Romania resolute.


After the break, Stanciu fired wide after gaining a good position on 48' but France came back. Tatarusanu saved on the line on 52', and again on 57' denied Pogba. On 58', Giroud back-headed the first French goal from outside the area.


Romania did not give up and on 64', Stanciu was fouled in the area, and scored (65') from the resulting penalty. 1-1. End-to-end stuff until right at the end of the game, when Payet pulled off perhaps the goal of the tournament in the first match, firing into the top right-hand corner from outside the area. Space given by the Romanian defence, but a spectacular piece of timely individual skill.




Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Rami, Evra, Kante, Matuidi, Pogba (Martial), Griezmann (Coman), Payet (Sissoko), Giroud


Tatarusanu, Sapunaru, Grigore, Chiriches, Rat, Hoban, Pintilii, Stanciu, Popa (Torje), Stanciu (Chipciu), Andone (Alibec)


EURO 2016 France: All you need to know


Russia's games, calendars of games, the groups and the system, all here at Pravda.Ru sports section. Pravda.Ru sportsdesk led by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey with five correspondents in France will bring you all the latest information on the games, the players and the competition.


Russia's games

June 11 v. England in Marseille (20.00 BST)

June 15 v. Slovakia in Lille (14.00 BST)

June 20 v. Wales in Toulouse (20.00 BST)


Euro 2016 - The groups


 Group A

France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland

June 10 (20) France 2 Romania 1 (Giroud, Payet) (Stanciu)

June 11 (14) Albania 0 Switzerland 1 (Schär)

June 15 (17) Romania 1 Switzerland 1 (Stancu) (Mehmedi)

June 15 (20) France 2 Albania 0 (Griezmann, Payet)

June 20 (20) Romania 0 Albania 1 (Sadiku); Switzerland 0 France 0


France 3 2 1 0 4 1 7

Switzerland 3 1 2 0 2 1 5

Albania 3 1 0 2 1 3 3

Romania 3 0 1 2 2 4 1



Group B

England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia

June 11 (17) Wales 2 Slovakia 1 (Bale, Robson-Kanu) (Duda)

June 11 (20) England 1 Russia 1 (Dier) (Berezutski)

June 15 (14) Russia 1 Slovakia 2 (Glushakov) (Weiss, Hamsik)

June 16 (14) England 2 Wales 1 (Vardy, Sturridge) (Bale)

June 20 (20) Russia v. Wales; Slovakia v. England


England 2 1 1 0 3 2 4

Wales 2 1 0 1 3 4 3

Slovakia 2 1 0 1 3 2 3

Russia 2 0 1 1 2 3 1


Group C

Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland

June 12 (17) Poland 1 Northern Ireland 0 (Milik)

June 12 (20) Germany 2 Ukraine 0 (Mustafi, Schweinsteiger)

June 16 (17) Ukraine 0 Northern Ireland 2 (McAuley, McGinn)

June 16 (20) Germany 0 Poland 0

June 21 (17) Ukraine v. Poland; Northern Ireland v. Germany


Germany 2 1 1 0 2 0 4

Poland 2 1 1 0 1 0 4

Northern Ireland 2 1 0 1 2 1 3

Ukraine 2 0 0 2 0 4 0


Group D

Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia

June 12 (14) Turkey 0 Croatia 1 (Modric)

June 13 (14) Spain 1 Czech Republic 0 (Piqué)

June 17 (17) Czech Republic 2 Croatia 2 (Skoda, Necid, pen) (Perisic, Rakitic)

June 17 (20) Spain 3 Turkey 0 (Morata, 2; Nolito)

June 21 (20) Czech Republic v. Turkey; Croatia v. Spain

Spain 2 2 0 0 4 0 6

Croatia 2 1 1 0 3 2 4

Czech Republic 2 0 1 1 2 3 1

Turkey 2 0 0 2 0 4 0


Group E

Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden

June 13 (17) Republic of Ireland 1 Sweden 1 (Hoolahan) (Clark, og)

June 13 (20) Belgium 0 Italy 2 (Giaccherini, Pellè)

June 17 (14) Italy 1 Sweden 0 (Éder)

June 18 (14) Belgium 3 Republic of Ireland 0 (Lukaku 2, Witsel)

June 22 (20) Italy v. Republic of Ireland; Sweden v. Belgium

Italy 2 2 0 0 3 0 6

Belgium 2 1 0 1 3 2 0 3 

Sweden 2 0 1 1 1 2 1

Republic of Ireland 2 0 1 1 1 4 1

Group F

Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary

June 14 (17) Austria 0 Hungary 2 (Szalai, Stieber)

June 14 (20) Portugal 1 Iceland 1 (Nani) (Bjarnason)

June 17 (17) Iceland 1 Hungary 1 (Sigurdsson, pen) (Saevarsson, o.g.)

June 17 (20) Portugal 0 Austria 0

June 22 (17) Iceland v. Austria; Hungary v. Portugal

Hungary 2 1 1 0 3 1 4

Iceland 2 0 2 0 2 2 2

Portugal 2 0 2 0 1 1 1

Austria 2 0 1 1 0 2 1


Last 16

Saturday June 25 Group A (2) v. Group C (2);   Group B (1) v. Group ACD (3);  Group D (1) v. Group BEF (3)

Sunday June 26 Group A (1) v. Group CDE (3); Group C (1) v. Group ABF (3); Group F (1) v. Group E (2)

Monday June 27 Group E (1) v. Group D (2); Group B (2) v. Group F (2)


Edited by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey



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Author`s name Editorial Team