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Euro 2016: France top Group A; Albania shock Romania to finish third

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 20 June 2016, 11:45 IST

Week 3 is upon us: Teams now play their last group-league match simultaneously. On Sunday (19 June), the Group A fixture was France played Switzerland and Albania locked horns with Romania to fight it out for a place in the Round of 16.

France's midfielder Paul Pogba (L) vies for the ball against Switzerland's forward Breel Embolo during the Euro 2016 group A football match between Switzerland and France at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille on 19 June, 2016. (Franck Fife/AFP)

Let's start with the hosts. They played Switzerland knowing that a draw would be enough for them to top the group and that's exactly what happened at the full-time whistle. France laboured to another listless performance. The 0-0 draw against the Swiss though wasn't devoid of any drama.

France supporters sing the French national anthem as they watch the Euro 2016 group A football match between Switzerland and France in a fan zone Nice on 19 June, 2016. (Valery Hache/AFP)

The French players ripped apart the Swiss players' shirts one by one. Granit Xhaka had to go through three of them.

There was a 50-50 tackle between Valon Behrami and Antoine Griezmann that resulted in neither of them getting injured. Instead, it was the ball that got deflated.

In the end, with the draw, France finished top of the group with seven points. Switzerland finished second with five points.

Switzerland's midfielder Valon Behrami holds the deflated ball during the Euro 2016 group A football match between Switzerland and France at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille on 19 June, 2016. (Franck Fife/AFP)
French President Francois Hollande (R), French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet (C) and French minister for Cities, Youth and Sport Patrick Kanner (L) attend the Euro 2016 group A football match between Switzerland and France at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille on 19 June, 2016. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

In the group's other game, it was Albania that provided the shock against the Romanians. Albania kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Romania in Lyon.

Match between Romania and Albania at the fan zone on the Mother Teresa square in Pristina on 19 June, 2016. (Armend Nimani/AFP)

Armando Sadiku's name will go down in history. His header "clinched Albania their maiden win at a major tournament and first against Romania in 68 years to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Euro 2016 knockout stages". The Romanians never looked like scoring an equaliser except whe susbsitute Florin Andone hit the post.

Albania's forward Armando Sadiku (L) scores the opening goal past Romania's goalkeeper Ciprian Anton Tatarusanu during the Euro 2016 group A football match between Romania and Albania at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Lyon on 19 June, 2016. (Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP)

The next fixtures are as follows:

  • 1. Russia vs Wales (12:30 AM)
  • 2. Slovakia vs England (12:30 AM)
Photo curation: Vikas Kumar

First published: 20 June 2016, 11:45 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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