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EURO2016: FRANCE QUALIFIES FOR LAST 16

payet_getty2Late goals from Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet saw hosts France edge past Albania to become the first side to reach the Euro 2016 knockout stage.

Albania struck the post shortly after half-time when Ledian Memushaj bundled a cross past France keeper Hugo Lloris.

France striker Olivier Giroud also hit the post, before substitute Griezmann ended Albania’s resistance by nodding in Adil Rami’s right-wing cross.

Payet stroked in with the final kick as France clinched a flattering win.

Les Bleus scored with the game’s only two shots on target, struggling to break down a stubborn Albania side as Giroud missed three free headers at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.

Defeat was harsh on the European Championship debutants, who looked to have done enough to earn their first point.

France needed a late goal from Payet to beat Romania in Friday’s opening game, and another dramatic win means they are assured of a last-16 place before their final Group A match against Switzerland.

Albania, who lost their opening game against the Swiss, must beat Romania on Sunday to stand any chance of qualifying.

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