Live Updates
  • Dimitri Payet nets stunning strike on 89 minutes to seal France win
  • Olivier Giroud gave hosts lead with second half header
  • Romania levelled through Bogdan Stancu from penalty spot after Patrice Evra foul

And that's it. Dimitri Payet, by some distance the best player on the pitch tonight, has sealed victory for the competition hosts in marvellous fashion. We've become accustomed to seeing him finding the net from range over the past year, but he's added another here that may have just settled Goal of Euro 2016 already.

Dimitri Payet
Payet scores stunning 89th minute winner. Getty

FULL TIME: France 2-1 Romania

And with that, Payet's night over, he is replaced by Moussa Sissoko. The Newcastle midfielder has the chance to settle it on the break, but under pressure from his marker, he fires wide from a tight angle.

PAYET! That is superb from the West Ham playmaker. France shift the ball around patiently before it is slipped into their best player on the night on the edge of the box. His first touch prods it past his marker, his second rifles the ball into the far top corner via a wonderfully, unstoppable clean strike. A sublime goal that looks to have settled this game.

Goal! France 2-1 Romania (Dimitri Payet, 88)

Just two minutes plus added time left in this game.

Paul Pogba
Pogba subbed by Deschamps. Getty

Paul Pogba, the poster boy for Euro 2016, was replaced by Anthony Martial.

Romania have a free kick that Torje whips into the box. Grigore is up from the back and is a whisker away from making contact, but the offside flag is up anyway.

Another change for Romania, Gabriel Torje replaces Stancu.

France surge forward again with Martial leading the charge. He prods it onto Giroud who holds the ball up before shifting it back to the Manchester United forward. It sits up nicely for him, urging Martial to shoot first-time, but his effort is comfortably saved.

Chiriches shows some neat footwork to take the ball down on the half way line and shift the ball forward to Hoban. He carries the ball forward and lets fly with a shot from almost 30 yards out that sails well wide.

Anthony Martial is coming on and he will replace... Paul Pogba? The rather bemused looking Juventus midfielder comes off for the Manchester United forward.


Bogdan Stancu's penalty kick drew Romania level. 15 minutes left at the Stade de France.

France are applying pressure now with a neat move freeing Evra down the left. Grigore leaps across to nut the ball away before Giroud can get onto it, however.

More brilliance from Payet, plucking the ball out of the air, flicking it ahead of him before nutmegging his marker. He shifts the ball onto Evra who is firmly stopped in his tracks, catching an accidental elbow square in the mush from Hoban. France free kick,

Here's Romania's first change, Alexandru Chipciu comes onto replace Stanciu.

France appeal for a penalty of their own as Giroud goes down under pressure from his marker in the box, but the ref is having none of it. Moments later, the Arsenal striker is shown a yellow card for his role in an aerial challenge challenge with Grigore.

Didier Deschamps responds to that equaliser by throwing on Kingsley Coman, who replaces Griezmann.

Oh, Patrice. What are you doing?! Stancu tries to power his way into the box but isn't really in control of the ball. Evra instead helps him out, sticking a leg out and sending the Romania striker sprawling to the floor.

The man who won the penalty and missed two great chances at the start of both halves steps up to take it and coolly drills it into the bottom corner. Game on.

Goal! France 1-1 Romania (Bogdan Stancu, 64)

PENALTY - Romania

Olivier Giroud

Giroud towered above Tătăruşanu to give France the lead.

Olivier Giroud

Giroud towered above Tătăruşanu to give France the lead.

France almost work a second as Payet thumps another superb free kick into the box that Giroud brilliantly reaches, flicking it back to Pogba to his right. The ball doesn't ball right for him however and Romania quickly crowd the Juventus midfielder and clear the danger.

Olivier Giroud scores the first goal of 2016! Payet whips in the corner that followed that Pogba effort a few moments ago. Again, his delivery is wonderful, and having missed two comfortable headers earlier in the match, Giroud makes no mistake, thumping this one into the far corner having beaten goalkeeper Tătăruşanu in the air.

Goal! France 1-0 Romania (Olivier Giroud, 57)

Tătăruşanu denies Pogba! It's wonderful again from Payet, who sells his marker a dummy, leaving him on the turf before lifting a fine cross into the six yard area. Pogba is running onto it and has nothing else on his mind other than shooting. He lashes the volley on target, but it's straight at the Romania goalkeeper who makes himself big and makes the crucial save.

Bogan Stanu
Stancu misses another opportunity. Getty

Bogdan Stancu has missed golden opportunities at the start of both halves.

Giroud denied again! Payet springs into life again, driving towards goal before releasing the ball into the path of the Arsenal striker, who cuts outside his man to shoot but can only fire it straight at Tătăruşanu.

It was quiet around the Stade de France in the first-half and it has started that way in the second. France need to wake their crowd up a bit.

Another great chance for Romania! Stanciu shows neat footwork before curling a superb ball into the box to find Stancu, who has again peeled away from his man. It's a difficult ball for him to pull out of the air, but he just about manages it and has plenty of time to take his shot on. When it does come, however, he drives a poor effort wide of goal.

Andone fights his way through on goal, sending Koscielny crashing to the ground in the process, but Rami just about manages to get across and halt his powerful run.

And Romania get us back underway for the second half.

Anthony Martial
Martial on the bench. Getty

Might this man get the nod if France remain this toothless in front of goal?

Olivier Giroud
Giroud missed good chance at end of first-half. Getty

Giroud missed two great opportunities in the first-half, both with his head.

A drab opening 45 minutes has come to an end. Bogdan Stancu of Romania almost shocked the hosts with an early opener, only to be denied by a point-blank save from Hugo Lloris. Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud have had chances for France, but they have been far from convincing so far.

Half-time: France 0-0 Romania

Oh Giroud. Payet lifts a fine corner in that the Arsenal striker leaps onto, but he gets too much on it and heads over the bar. Chiriches did have a handful of his shirt, but he still should have done far better.

Kante, stop it. The Leicester midfielder gets back deep in his own half, wins the ball with a fine challenge before dribbling out of danger. He carries the ball forward before switching play beautifully, dropping the ball directly onto Payet's outstretched boot. The West Ham star tries to launch the ball in, but settles for the corner.

Another yellow card for Romania, this time Rat enters the referee's book for a high boot on Giroud.

Payet's free kick is a poor one, but France recycle the ball and lump it into Pogba who tries to lash one on goal on the half volley. His marker Pintilii does well, however, and puts him under enough pressure to put him off.

Kante keeps the ball in and does well to shift it to Payet. He creeps in from the left, jinking past Hoban who blocks the West Ham playmaker, conceding the free kick.

That challenge from Koscielny, plus a couple from Evra earlier in the match, were clear fouls. Romania have been a bit hard done by so far.

Andone chases down a big ball over the top, scampering between the two France centre halves just outside the box to get to it first. He manages it, only to be cut down by Koscielny's swinging leg. It's a clear foul, but again, nothing is given.

France almost find the opener! Payet does brilliantly down the inside right channel, bursting past his man after some sloppy play at the back before drilling a ball back to Griezmann, who hits it first time. His effort takes the slightest deflection, enough to take it wide. Should be a France corner, but Romania get the goal kick.

N'Golo Kante
Kante dribbles away from two Romania players. Getty

Kante has already covered every blade of grass out there, but France are struggling to break Romania down at the minute.

Chiriches is shown the first yellow card of Euro 2016 following his challenge on Pogba.

Half an hour gone at the Stade de France. Romania have been denied by Hugo Lloris while France have been denied by the woodwork. But having said that, it's been a pretty tepid affair so far.

Payet knocks the ball onto Pogba, who takes the shot on from 25 yards out, cutting across the ball looking for the far top corner. The Juventus midfielder had Matuidi and Griezmann free either side to him and both would have been better options, with his shot sailing harmlessly over the cross bar.

Centre-half Rami threads a superb ball around four Romania players for Giroud to run onto with the goal at his mercy, but his marker Grigore just about gets his toes to the ball, knocking it clear for a corner.

Săpunaru does well down the right, jinking past Evra with ease before he the Frenchman swings out a leg that trips him. Somehow, there is no foul given, however, and France can clear the danger.

Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann denied by the post. Getty

Griezmann has come the closest for France so far, but couldn't steer his header inside the post,

Pogba does brilliantly to shift the ball past his man and tries to do the same to Săpunaru, only to be dumped unceremoniously to the ground by the Romania defender. Would perhaps have been a booking elsewhere on the pitch, but as the Juventus midfielder was in his own half, he gets away from it.

A note on Kante; he has started this game as you would expect. On a handful of occasions already he's chased down the opposition before winning the ball with a clean tackle and moving it onto a teammate. Excellent start from him.

Griezmann denied by the woodwork! Pogba picks Sagna out with a superb ball down the inside right channel for the full-back to race onto to whip into the box. Griezmann misses it the first time, but it bounces back off the defender for him to nod on goal, only for it comes back off the inside of the post. France are waking up, here.

Hugo Lloris
Lloris denies Bogdan with a fine save. Getty

This is the moment Romania almost spoilt the party in Paris, only to be denied by Tottenham's Hugo Lloris.

France make no use of the corner but the ball is eventually worked back out wide to Payet who floats a fine cross into the six yard area. Giroud, who has peeled away from his man, gets his head to it, but nods wide.

Payet slides a ball into Griezmann who opts to pull the trigger from 20 yards out but Chiriches leaps out in front of him to charge it down. France corner.

Romania probe in front of the France box but Griezmann gets back to rob possession with a fine sliding challenge. The hosts have recovered from that scare with Pogba and Payet beginning to get on the ball.

Another corner comes in and again a Romania head gets to it first, but Andone can't keep it down and his header bounces onto the roof of the net.

That was a brilliant reaction save from Lloris, but Romania and Stancu will be fuming that didn't go in.

Lloris denies Romania! The corner kick is knocked onto the far post where Stancu has peeled off his man. He sticks out a boot to knock it on goal but it's straight at the France goalkeeper, who manages to push it wide.

France's centre-half partnership of Koscielny and Rami is a relatively new one and it shows at the minute; the two almost get in each others way dealing with a long ball and Romania get the corner.

Quiet start, here. Blaise Matuidi saw his scuffed effort from the edge of the box comfortably saved by Tătăruşanu. Down the other hand, Pintilii tries an ambitious half volley from 20 yards out but it's nothing for Hugo Lloris to worry over.

And France get Euro 2016 underway.

Just a three minute delay after all that, then.

The first of 51 matches is just about ready to get start. Here's a reminder of those starting XI's before we get started.

France: Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Rami, Evra, Kanté, Matuidi, Pogba, Griezmann, Payet, Giroud

Romania: Tătăruşanu, Săpunaru, Grigore, Chiricheş, Raţ, Hoban, Pintilii, Stanciu, Popa, Stancu, Andone

Not long now, I promise! Both teams have made their way out onto the pitch. Time for the national anthems.

Right, I think we are nearly done here. It looks pretty swish, but come on, let's crack on with the match, eh?

Euro 2016 opening ceremony

David Guetta's now on the pitch. Quite handily, someone has left a set of DJ decks out there for him.

Quite an elaborate-looking opening ceremony has only just got started, Kick off is scheduled to start in 14 minutes. Not a chance of that happening at this rate.

The opening ceremonies for the FA Cup final and Champions League final were all a bit too Super Bowl, if you ask me. We've got 20 minutes to get the Euro 2016 curtain raiser out of the way.

There's one familiar face for Premier League fans in that Romania starting XI; Vlad Chiriches, once of Tottenham Hotspur. The defender, whose move to north London was reportedly sanctioned inside a prison cell, now plies his trade for Lazio in Serie A. Will he have a vital role in Romania's campaign? Catch up on what he's been up to here.

Vlad Chiriches
Vlad Chiriches made 47 appearances for Tottenham during an unhappy two-year stint in the Premier League GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
France fans
France fans at the Stade de France. Getty

It's filling up around the Stade de Fracce. Just over half an hour until kick-off.

The expanded format of this year's competition makes the business of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament slightly more tricky. If a team lose their opening two matches, they can still manage to get out of their group, if things go their way. Here's our breakdown of how it all works.

In Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud, two candidates for Euro 2016's Golden Boot can open their accounts this evening. Who is your money on?

France possess the deepest set of options in midfield and attack at Euro 2016, but it is in defence where they have suffered setbacks. Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane was struck down by injury just weeks before kick-off, misses out, as does Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho after he was slapped with a drugs ban.

Slightly further up the pitch, Lassana Diarra, who enjoyed a remarkable renaissance at Marseille last season, is another injury absentee, having been tipped to anchor the Leas Blues midfield in the coming six weeks. Despite the formidable presence of Kante and Matuidi, his absence will be felt.

What do we know about Romania? They secured their place in this competition with the best defensive record in qualifying, conceding just twice in 10 matches. On paper, it looks like a perfect test for free-scoring France. Nick Howson took a look at the Tricolorii ahead of their first major international tournament since 2008.

Olivier Giroud
Giroud will lead the French attack this evening. Getty

With Karim Benzema not around these days, Olivier Giroud will be tasked with leading the French attack over the next four weeks. With Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba around him, the Arsenal striker will have plenty of chances to prove he can be the man this summer.

Anthony Martial
Martial misses out. Getty

Anthony Martial, Manchester United's saviour on so many occasions last season, settles for a spot on the bench this evening. Dimitri Payet, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud will be tasked with getting the first goals of the tournament.

Romania team to face France: Tătăruşanu, Săpunaru, Grigore, Chiricheş, Raţ, Hoban, Pintilii, Stanciu, Popa, Stancu, Andone

France team to face Romania: Lloris, Sagna, Koscielny, Rami, Evra, Kanté, Matuidi, Pogba, Griezmann, Payet, Giroud

BREAKING: N'Golo Kante starts this evening in midfield alongside Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba. There is no room for Anthony Martial, however, he misses out with Didier Deschamps opting for a front three of Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud.

The 2016 edition European Championships sees the number of participants expanded to 24 from 16. That means there is plenty more football to feast on, but what product are we left with? IBTimes UK columnist Steve Busfield writes we now have something more "bloated, protracted and boring" to keep us occupied over the coming weeks. Lovely.

It's now so close we can almost touch it. But before Euro 2016 kicks off, there is the small matter of the opening ceremony at the Stade de France. If David Guetta is your cup of tea, you can follow the whole thing live with us.

24 nations are bidding for glory in France over the next four weeks. It all gets started tonight. National security threats, a blackmail scandal between two teammates and even accusations of racism have threatened to derail France's preparations for the competition. Despite that, the hosts will kick off against Romania as runaway favourites to lift another honour on home soil.

As we saw in Brazil two years ago at the 2014 World Cup, some competition hosts crumble under the pressure and expectation of succeeding on the biggest stage. Twice Les Blues have hosted a major international competition, Euro 1984 and France 1998, winning the lot on both occasions.

Despite the potential for distractions, France's final preparations have gone as well as could be. Their four games in 2016 have produced four wins and they have shown no signs of struggling in the absence of Karim Benzema, scoring at least three goals in each of those friendlies.

While they will be expected to kickstart their campaign with three points this evening, they face a stern test in their abilities to break down teams in Romania. Anghel Iordanescu's side did not suffer a single defeat on the road to France and conceded just two goals during five wins and five draws, the best defensive record in qualifying.

Kick off as 8pm [GMT]. In the meantime, sit tight with us for all the build-up and team news you will ever need.