It was a great night for Olivier Giroud and France after a spectacular opening ceremony in Paris. Giroud was chosen to lead the attack ahead of Man United’s Martial, and had the honour of kicking the first ball of the Championship. The atmosphere was electric from the kickoff but Romania came at them and nearly shook the home side with a clear cut chance after just three minutes which luckily came off Lloris’ legs.
Giroud also had the honour (lol) of missing France’s first chance to score, and he was also the first French player to get booked. But all that was forgiven as he was also the first to get his name on the scoresheet and with Romania looking unlikely to score the crowd went ballistic. But our old friend Patrice Evra made a stupid tackle in Lloris’ box to give the away side a lifeline with a penalty which was duly converted.
France went all out for the win and pummelled Romania’s defence, but they had to wait for a moment of genius from Payet to win the game for them in 89th minute. Arsenal fans may be very quick criticise Olivier but the fact is that when he is confident and in form (like now) he scores in every single game. If he continues then Les Bleus have every chance to win this trophy.
But Sanchez, oh my! When he was flying last summer, he led his Chile side to win the Copa America and they were back amongst the favourites this time around, but him and his country are struggling to recapture the glory. In their two warm up games they lost to both Jamaica and Mexico, and then got beaten by a Messi-less Argentina in the opening game.
Anything less than a win in last night’s game against Bolivia could have seen them eliminated, and the first big chance of the game (on 40 minutes) fell of course to Alexis. He seemed shocked to be just yards outside an empty goal and hesitated just long enough for a Bolivian to throw themselves in front of the ball. Sanchez had said that he was exhausted, and perhaps he shouldn’t have played, but there is little chance of that when with Chile.
His team finally got the win, but had to wait until a 100th minute penalty to give them the full points, and only have to beat tiny Panama in 4 days time to progress to the knockouts. But. unlike France, Chile and Alexis are looking far from potential winners at the moment….