Euro 2022: Corinne Diacre says France needs more ‘efficiency’ after close win over Belgium

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France head coach Corinne Diacre was pleased to see her side progress through with a game to spare (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)
France head coach Corinne Diacre was pleased to see her side progress through with a game to spare (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)

France boss Corinne Diacre was pleased to see her side progress through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2022 with a slender 2-1 win over Belgium at the New York Stadium but thinks the ‘efficiency’ they showed against Italy was lacking.

France took the lead early on when Sakina Karchaoui delivered a ball at the back post for Kadidiatou Diani to nod in from close range.

Belgium equalised in the 36th minute against the run of play when Janice Cayman poked home past the onrushing Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, but France restored their deserved lead five minutes later when Griedge Mbock Bathy emphatically headed home from close range.

France were awarded a penalty late on after VAR judged Amber Tysiak to have handled inside the area and was given a second yellow card.

France took the lead early on when Sakina Karchaoui delivered a ball at the back post for Kadidiatou Diani to nod in from close range (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
France took the lead early on when Sakina Karchaoui delivered a ball at the back post for Kadidiatou Diani to nod in from close range (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Captain Wendie Renard failed to take advantage as she missed both the penalty and the follow up, however, France were not to be denied a spot in the quarter-finals.

After the game, Diacre told a press conference: “There were lots of chances  for us to score a third goal but today I think the efficiency against Italy was lacking.

“We know it’s not everyday we score five goals in the first half and we could not get five goals tonight but we are through and that’s all that counts.

“The efficiency was slightly different to the Italy game but we scored one more goal than Belgium which means we won this game and are top of our group.”

There were lots of chances for us to score a third goal but today I think the efficiency against Italy was lacking

Sakina Karchaoui

France have qualified for the last eight with a game to spare and Diacre wants her side to savour the moment before those upcoming games.

“We are going to rest up and savour the victory and make the most of these joyful moments when they arrive,” she said.

“Its very rare to qualify after two games so were going back to base camp, rest up and take stock regards to injuries tomorrow and then prepare for Iceland.”

Belgium have yet to win a game during the tournament and will require victory against Italy in their final group game in order to progress.

Belgium boss Ives Serneels said: “Everyone gave their all today and it is unfortunate the game does not reflect that.

“I did not think that we were going to concede after six minutes. I am not going to be negative because my team did me proud, but we showed exactly what we were made of tonight and how beautiful the women’s game is.

“We also know France is very good and have the best European players, we are talking about the third best team in the world, so I don’t think we should be negative.

“Its not going to be a walk in the park against Italy, I’ve been working with this team for a long time and I think they have earned their stripes this evening.”