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Lloris praises match-winner Payet

France captain Hugo Lloris hailed match-winner Dimitri Payet as the host nation kicked off Euro 2016 with a 2-1 win over Romania. 

A spot-kick from Bogdan Stancu cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s 57th-minute opener at the Stade de France on Friday.

However, just as the game appeared to be heading for a 1-1 draw, West Ham’s Payet dispatched a left-foot rocket into the top corner to seal the win.

“The most important thing was to get the three points tonight. It was a tough game with a lot of pressure and we also felt quite a lot of tension in our team,” Lloris said.

“Just when we thought we had got through the most difficult part, the Romanians were awarded a penalty and they scored. And then Dimitri Payet managed to save us all with this amazing goal.

“We managed to find the resources to win the game and we must congratulate Dimitri Payet, who scored a fantastic goal.

“Be it with France or West Ham, everybody knows how talented he is. Plus, it was good for him to kick-start his tournament. And we can sense that he is doing well and is full of confidence. 

“Even if a win is always a team effort, you always need your top players to perform at their best.”

Lloris was forced into a crucial save in the first half of the contest as Romania took the game to the hosts in the early stages.  

“[The save] is just a goalkeeper’s job, we always try to do our best for the team,” the Tottenham shot-stopper said.

“It is true that it prevented us finding ourselves in a losing situation straight away, especially as that was a tough spell for us and we did not start the game as we wanted to. 

“But as the game progressed, we took the upper hand.”

Sat 11 Jun, 2016
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