Dimitri Payet says France’s habit of winning games in the dying minutes is nothing new after he scored his second goal of the tournament in the 96th minute to seal a 2-0 win over Albania.
Payet’s goal came just minutes after Antoine Griezmann finally broke the deadlock in the 90th minute and followed his spectacular late match-winner in France’s 2-1 tournament-opening win against Romania.
But the West Ham star says France have proven time and time again they can win a game at any time.
“What’s great is this is nothing new, since March and against Holland we have shown that we can always win games late on, we’ve been able to score in stoppage time since the start of the competition,” Payet said.
“We had to be patient, we tried to go through the middle in the first half but used the width in the second. The subs made the difference tonight and we were able to come up with the goods.”
But while Payet believes in France’s ability to win games at any stage, he was relieved to see Griezmann finally score the opener.
“It was a special feeling, we said that last week that everyone was important in the squad and that was the best way of showing it,” he said.
“Union and team spirit were important tonight. A lot of people were doubting us but we won the game.”
As for his goal, Payet was just happy to help his team win again, as he continues to build his case for player of the tournament after two brilliant displays.
“Once again I made the difference tonight and I have known for a while that my country is right behind me and there is a particularly fervent support for Les Bleus in the country,” he said.
“They are very proud that France have made it through to the last 16.”