Friday night’s Euro 2016 opening fixture between France and Romania featured two Bianconeri players in the shape of Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra, who both ended up on the winning side for Les Bleus courtesy of a 2-1 final score in Saint-Denis.
Following a goalless first half, Olivier Giroud handed the hosts a 57th minute lead, the striker heading home a cross by Dimitri Payet.
Within just eight minutes, however, Romania equalised when Bogdan Stancu converted from the penalty spot after Evra brought down the striker in the box.
Pogba came close to putting France back in front when he volleyed Payet’s cross powerfully into the grasp of visiting keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu. In the 77th minute, the midfielder made way for Manchester United forward Anthony Martial.
With the match looking destined to end as a draw, it looked as though either side would need to produce something special to clinch the win and Payet did just that in the 89th minute, rifling home with his left foot from outside the area to stun Romania and seal an all-important opening victory for Didier Deschamps’ men.
Today sees another Juve player involved in Euro 2016, when Stephan Lichtsteiner leads his Switzerland side out to face Albania at 15.00 CEST. Meanwhile in the Copa America, Juan Cuadrado’s Colombia take on Costa Rica (kick-off scheduled for 03.00 CEST on Sunday) in their final group match having already qualified for the competition’s quarter-finals.