France narrowly escaped a hugely frustrating draw in their opening Euro 2017 game against Iceland, with Eugénie Le Sommer’s late penalty finally breaking their opponents’ resistance to claim three points.

Iceland played with their backs against the wall for much of the match, repelling waves of French pressure as the favourites to win Group C asserted their dominance.

The match was heading for a draw until the Iceland substitute Elín Jensen brought down Amandine Henry in the penalty area in the 86th minute and Le Sommer converted from the spot.

Olivier Echouafni, the France coach, said: “We have the win, that’s the most important thing. We have to be effective. I love these games because the girls were in difficulty but they were patient. They have been rewarded. Everyone did well.”

France will face Austria on Saturday, with Iceland meeting Switzerland.