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Published: 21:56 | 15/6/16

Late show sends France into last 16

Griezmann & Payet score in injury time for Les Blues

A 90th minute header from Antoine Greizmann and an injury time strike from Dimitri Payet helped France make it two wins from two in Euro 2016 as they battled to a 2-0 win over Albania at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

As the clocked ticked towards injury time, Albania looked like they had done enough to seal a deserved draw but Griezmann finally showed the required composure to break the deadlock in the 90th minute.

And as Albania threw men forward in search of an equaliser, they were undone by a brilliant counter attack that ended with Payet slotting home his second goal of the tournament to seal a 2-0 win.

Albania started well as they set their stall out to sit deep and challenged France to break them down.

And it seemed to work as the hosts struggled in the final third and it was the visitors who had the first real half-chance of the night when Hugo Lloris pounced at the feet of Armando Sadiku to gather after 26 minutes.

France continued to look disjointed in attack and although they had one or two glimpses of goal from Giroud, they never really threatened the Albanian goal.

And again, it was the visiting side who went closest seven minutes before the break when, from a corner, the ball dropped to Ledian Memushaj but his strike was charged down as the sides went in level at the break to a chorus of boos from the French fans.

Didier Deschamps introduced Paul Pogba at the break and his side started the second period with a much higher tempo and they created their first real chance of the night inside the first minute of the half.

Olivier Giroud whipped in a good ball that was flicked by Blaise Matudi into the path of Kingsley Coman but he headed just past the post.

Again, though, Albania weren’t overawed by the French and they went within inches of breaking the deadlock after 51 minutes.

A superb ball into the box found Memushaj and his first time strike beat Lloris but came back off the inside of the post as France clung on.

The game began to open up after this and it was France who threatened next two minutes later when Dimitri Payet produced a sensational pass that found Paul Pogba at the back-post but the Juventus midfielder fired over when he should have at least hit the target.

The home side were vastly improved after the break and they went close twice in two minutes through Giroud.

The Arsenal’s man first chance arrived when he lost Mergim Mavraj and met a cross from Payet but he headed just past the post.

And he went even closer with 22 minutes remaining when he rose highest inside the area and crashed a header off the post as France began to pile on the pressure.

France continued to dominate possession after this as Albania dropped deeper and deeper, and they created another fine chance when Payet whipped in a free-kick that was met by an unmarked Laurent Koscielny but he completed mistimed his header as the ball drifted wide.

Albania continued to throw their bodies on the line and they looked to have seen the game out as the clock ticked towards injury time, but they were finally undone in the 90th minute.

Adil Rami collected the ball on the right and whipped in a superb ball that was met by substitute Antoine Griezmann and he made no mistake in heading home to make it 1-0.

It was a cruel blow for Albania and it got even worse in the final minute of injury time when they were caught by a lightning French break that ended with Dimitri Payet firing home to seal a hard fought 2-0 win for the hosts as they booked their place in the last 16.

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