France 2-0 Albania: Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet secure late win
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 16/06/16 7:39am
Late goals from Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet saw France beat Albania 2-0 in Marseille on Wednesday and book their place in the last 16 of Euro 2016.
Having started the match on the bench along with Paul Pogba, it was Griezmann who made the breakthrough against a resolute Albania when he headed home in the 90th minute.
Payet then added his second of the tournament deep into injury-time when he curled home on the counter.
The hosts will now meet Switzerland on Sunday in a match that will decide who finishes top of Group A.
Despite having beaten Romania in their opener, Didier Deschamps decided to drop two of his star players, Griezmann and Pogba, and handed starts to Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman.
But France were lacklustre in the first half and created little in the final third at the Stade Velodrome.
Olivier Giroud headed over an early Payet free-kick but Albania soon settled into the game and were relatively untroubled by the hosts, who they beat in a friendly last year.
While Albania did not create many chances of their own, they stifled France's attacking threat, with Martial spurning the best opening when he took a touch in the box rather than shoot first time.
It was Albania who finished the first half on top, with Ermir Lenjani having a shot blocked from a corner and Ledian Memushaj curling a free-kick over the bar.
Deschamps introduced Pogba at the break in place of Martial, and France almost immediately took the lead as Coman headed wide.
But Albania went closer as a cross into the box deflected off Bacary Sagna and hit the post, with Memushaj unable to turn in the rebound from the ground.
From then on, it was the hosts who created the better chances, Pogba hitting a half volley over the bar, Giroud heading against the post and Sagna firing off target from inside the box.
It looked as though France were going to be frustrated as Laurent Koscielny fluffed a close-range header and N'Golo Kante's shot deflected wide.
However, they eventually made the breakthrough when Adil Rami's right-wing cross was headed in by a wide open Griezmann.
Payet then made sure of victory deep into injury-time, finishing from inside the box.