From our special correspondent in Milton Keynes,
They remained for long minutes on the lawn, hands on hips, haggard eyes, still petrified by a final whistle that looked like the end of the world for them. They had only one desire, one ambition: Wembley. They will only have the MK Stadium as their terminus. With, as a bonus, this frustration of having missed out on something great.
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Against Germany, some promised them hell. It was a fight, as expected, but no one was knocked out. It was a victory on points that Alexandra Popp’s troops snatched Wednesday (2-1) thanks to the uppercuts of her providential striker. Everything that the Blues have missed in this Euro since the departure of Marie-Antoinette Katoto. “I don’t think that German team was much stronger than us, they didn’t put us in danger but they are efficient“, summed up Selma Bacha in the mixed zone.
A crushing blow but so many grounds for hope…
Not “killer” enough
Efficiency, the word of the competition for these Tricolores. They were, the space of a half, against Italy (5-1). For the rest… We thought the tide had turned when the Bleues managed to return to the locker room at the break with this 1-1 that came out of nowhere. By his spontaneity, Kadidiatou Diani transformed an embryonic situation into an unexpected goal (45th). Except that the past demons have finally returned: opportunities galore but no one to finish the job. Quite the opposite of the Germans, much less proactive but much more “killers“, in the words of Grace Geyoro.
“We still missed that little bit of success in front of goalconfirmed Corinne Deacon in an express press conference. My regret is that we did not take our chances and especially those we had in the second period, which would have tipped us over in the game, I think.“.”Today this team lost against ours, but with a little more precision they could have taken the lead and it is not known how the match would have ended“, confirmed at the same time Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, the German coach.
To force fate, Corinne Deacon tried to inject some pep but the Blue tank was empty, just four days after the epic quarter against the Netherlands. During this time, the Germans took advantage of two additional days of rest and were able to attack this match with a knife between their teeth and finish it without ever really flinching. “The fact of having two more days, in the legs, it feelsthus explained Geyoro. In the races, in the accelerations… We felt it but that’s how it is“.
Selma Bacha against Germany
Credit: Getty Images
It is by making mistakes that we learn
From there to make an excuse, out of the question, to listen to Wendie Renard: “I did not see a step too high. Physically, they didn’t eat us eithers”. No, simply these Blues have the faults of their qualities: their youth is refreshing but they remain a little naive at such heights. “There is quality in this group, there are promising young playerswanted to positive Renard. It’s a shame to say but I think that tonight they will cross levels because it is by making mistakes that we learn“.
Still, if the band of Corinne Deacon wants to claim, one day and why not next year, a prestigious crown, it will be necessary to resolve this evil which ended up spoiling their tournament. One of the answers had returned to France earlier than the others. With Katoto, maybe this match but especially the final result would have been different. To this question, Geyoro summed it all up: “With if…“.
Wendie Renard against Germany
Credit: Getty Images
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