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Paul Pogba

Victory showed heart - Deschamps

02:55 GMT+4 16/06/2016
France secured a late victory over Albania on Wednesday, with Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet both on target, and the manager has praised his side's display

France coach Didier Deschamps has paid tribute to the spirit of his players after they left it late to secure a 2-0 win over Albania on Wednesday evening.

Albania looked to be on their way to a historic stalemate at Stade Velodrome before second-half substitute Antoine Griezmann connected with Adil Rami's cross in the 89th minute and headed France into the lead.

Dimitri Payet then secured victory for France with his second of the tournament, thus securing his side's progression to the knockout stages of the competition.

Deschamps admits that his team started slowly, but paid tribute to their determination, saying: "The players have a lot of heart.

"We did not start flat out and we didn't have too much success, but we had some luck.

"We have six points and we have already qualified [for the knockout stages]. The final game remains critical, but it's a very good thing.

"We had to take the advantage and make ourselves safe."

Deschamps left Griezmann and fellow midfielder Paul Pogba on the bench for the game, but was quick to credit to their respective performances as second-half subsitutes.

He also recognised Albania's achievement in pushing his side all the way, saying: "For now, we cannot say that the big teams have dominated this tournament. Albanians play in good clubs too.

"We did the right thing in the second half and the players who came on made the difference. This is very important because it was the case against Romania."