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Meléndez relief as Bento buoyed

Published: Tuesday 18 May 2010, 23.29CET
Spain coach Ginés Meléndez conceded his team had to defend hard to beat France 2-1 while after the other Group A opener Rui Bento hailed his Portugal side in defeating Switzerland 3-0.
by Tom Kell & Paul Saffer
from Vaduz & Eschen-Mauren
Meléndez relief as Bento buoyed
Adrián Ortolá celebrates Spain taking the lead against France ©Sportsfile
Published: Tuesday 18 May 2010, 23.29CET

Meléndez relief as Bento buoyed

Spain coach Ginés Meléndez conceded his team had to defend hard to beat France 2-1 while after the other Group A opener Rui Bento hailed his Portugal side in defeating Switzerland 3-0.

Spain opened their UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group A campaign with a 2-1 win against France secured six minutes from time and victorious coach Ginés Meléndez admitted his side had to defend well to pick up the points. Elsewhere in the section, Portugal beat Switzerland 3-0 and defeated coach Heinz Moser conceded that the "pace and skill" of Rui Bento's team had proved too much. UEFA.com rounds up the reaction.

FRANCE 1-2 SPAIN
Ginés Meléndez, Spain coach
We possibly didn't play the way we wanted to play, but it is very important to win the first game in this kind of tournament. Congratulations to France as well who had lots of possession in attack, but we were very efficient and took our chances. They had lots of the ball but our defence was in control. The difference was that when they made a mistake, it was a goal. Spain do not usually play counterattacking football like this – it was not the plan but it worked.

Guy Ferrier, France coach
We had a good game and the result came down to small details. We did enough to get a draw from the game. Spain are a good team and really efficient; they had only a few chances and yet they scored goals. Their tactic was to counterattack – they were waiting in their half. We were pressing them in their half and Spain were only playing long balls.

PORTUGAL 3-0 SWITZERLAND
Rui Bento, Portugal coach
Anyone who saw this game had to be satisfied. It was a good match with plenty of chances and good moments. Switzerland were tough opponents; they played well and were organised. We deserved this win but we have to keep playing like this for the rest of the tournament.

Heinz Moser, Switzerland coach
First of all, I want to congratulate Portugal for their victory. If you look at the whole match, they deserved to win, though maybe not by quite so many goals. We had a good game too, especially in the first half. We knew Portugal had skilful and quick players so we tried to control the ball. Most of the time I think we were able to keep them under control, but when they scored their pace and skill was vital. I'm sorry for my team as they deserved to score one or two goals, but they fought until the end and I praise them for that. Our aim was to play well and I think we did.

Related Items
We possibly didn't play the way we wanted to play, but it is very important to win the first game in this kind of tournament
Ginés Meléndez
Spain are a good team and really efficient; they had only a few chances and yet they scored goals
Guy Ferrier
Anyone who saw this game had to be satisfied
Rui Bento
Most of the time I think we were able to keep them under control, but when they scored their pace and skill was vital
Heinz Moser
Last updated: 20/05/10 11.32CET

http://www.uefa.com/under17/news/newsid=1489508.html#melendez+relief+bento+buoyed

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