Deschamps: 'Well below what we are capable of'
France coach Didier Deschamps felt his side can do much better than what they showed in the hard-fought 2-1 win over Moldova in Euro 2020 qualifying; opposite number Engin Firat felt his players were hard done by.
Thursday, 14 November, 2019
UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying, Group H
Stade de France, Saint-Dénis
France 2-1 Moldova
Didier Deschamps (France coach): "We still needed a win to have a chance to top the group, so I don't think that the fact that we had already qualified for the finals, but still our first half was not enough. The second half was better, even though we lacked cutting edge. There was a tendency to ask for the ball only to feet and not into space; there was not enough movement and availability. The danger we created came mostly from wide positions, courtesy of our full-backs. Our mistakes gave the Moldovan team more courage. At half-time, I said what I had to say, even if I was a little hard on the players. But I had to, because we were well below what we are capable of doing. Are going to win the Euros? Well, we've qualified for the finals, but before we think about that, it would be nice if we could lock down top spot in the group."
Engin Firat (Moldova coach): "I'm proud of my guys because in Moldova, we play in front of 500 people and here there were 70,000. It was difficult for them in this atmosphere. I'm very, very angry with the referee. We must not believe that we can do what we want with a small country. This is unacceptable at this level. The first goal broke the players' motivation and there was more pressure from the French. It's impossible not to whistle that [Olivier Giroud's contact with the goalkeeper that led to the equaliser). This goal is not acceptable. France are a better team, that's for sure, but they don't need that. I would have liked to have taken a point. I'm sure I'll get 500 messages on my cell phone when I get into the locker room. Nevertheless, I would like to thank France for the very warm welcome and the fair play of the French Federation and Didier Deschamps."