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European Football Championship: France: With minimalism into the European Championship semi-finals

European Football Championship: France: With minimalism into the European Championship semi-finals
European Football Championship: France: With minimalism into the European Championship semi-finals

France has made it to the semi-finals of the European Championships with just one goal scored by themselves. The defense is solid, including in the penalty shootout against Portugal. That won’t be enough against Spain.

After the French minimalists’ lucky semi-finals at the European Football Championship, national coach Didier Deschamps did not want to hear any criticism. “I am proud of my players,” he said shortly after midnight in Hamburg. “Of course not everything was perfect. But I want to enjoy the moment now.” With a 5:3 penalty shootout victory over the Portuguese, who were stronger for much of the match, Deschamps’ team secured a place in the semi-finals and will now play against Germany’s conquerors Spain in Munich on Tuesday evening. “We don’t care whether it is deserved or not,” said midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni almost defiantly.

After five European Championship matches in Germany, the French have not yet scored a goal from open play. The three goals they have scored so far have come from two own goals and a penalty converted by superstar Kylian Mbappé.

Strong defense

“We know that we didn’t score a goal in the game either. And yes, we will analyze this question together,” said the 25-year-old Mbappé in the Volksparkstadion. “While maintaining this defensive stability.” It is convincing. The Équipe Tricolore has conceded just one goal. Nevertheless, the French, with their highly talented attack around Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé, have not played well enough to meet expectations. Even against Portugal. “I am a coach who thinks defensively,” said Deschamps. His players are also hardly bothered by the criticism of the lack of goals. “Since the start of the tournament, we have played solidly and defended successfully together. Our calculation is: we have a 90 percent chance of winning the game if we keep a clean sheet,” said defender William Saliba. “Now we just need to score more goals, but that will come. This team has character and a lot of courage.”

On Tuesday, he and his teammates will be particularly challenged in defence. Spain is the most accurate team at the European Championships so far, with eleven goals – and has only conceded two goals themselves.

Source: Stern

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