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Frustration for France as Wales say their goodbyes

Published: Sunday 25 August 2013, 23.00CET
France coach Gilles Eyquem lamented the lack of a cutting edge in his team while the departing Wales players earned high praise from managerial mentor Jarmo Matikainen.
by Patrick Hart
from Bridge Meadow

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Published: Sunday 25 August 2013, 23.00CET

Frustration for France as Wales say their goodbyes

France coach Gilles Eyquem lamented the lack of a cutting edge in his team while the departing Wales players earned high praise from managerial mentor Jarmo Matikainen.

Gilles Eyquem, France coach
It took us a bit of time to get into the game. We were not forceful enough to be dangerous. I had asked the girls to stop Wales clearing the ball and to press high up the pitch, but it took us two or three situations to put that into effect. We also lacked conviction in our finishing, it is one of this team's problems.

We can say it is a frustration and it has been the case since the start of the tournament. We dominate games – whether against England, Denmark or again this afternoon against Wales, we dominate but in front of goal we really lack conviction and desire. We are pleasing on the eye but that is not enough. We have to be efficient.

The girls were disappointed to find out they have to play Germany, but that's the reality. Besides, they should be pleased they are through, it's an achievement. We will get ready, we have three days and we have studied their game, so we will do what we need to go through and ideally to win the title. We will ask the girls to be much more compact and we will certainly not play as high as we did. We will have to win the possession – this will be the big word for our preparation. I managed to rest some players today and I think we will be well prepared for Wednesday.

Jarmo Matikainen, Wales coach
I am really impressed by France's ability. We knew they were the best team in the group. We knew that for us the third game, after all the work we had to do in the earlier games, was going to be extremely difficult – because we knew the capabilities of France. I was really impressed with the way they played and even more impressed with our girls' battling performance. Playing the top teams is going to improve you, and we saw today what a good international women's Under-19 team is and what we need to do.

I am extremely pleased with our second half because they scored from two excellent strikes in the first. Then we could not have had a more difficult start to the second half. But the girls showed the character they have shown throughout – they regrouped and played probably the best half we have played defensively.

It has been an extremely good experience. I was with the Finnish team two years ago in the final tournament and you knew all the big countries were going to invest in this tournament – I was really happy we had a good representation from the top countries. The standards have been excellent. I am extremely pleased also with our organisers: the Football Association of Wales and the volunteers at these fantastic venues have worked extremely hard, and so far this tournament has been fantastic.

I think the girls are going to miss it because our team is a close-knit group and there was an extremely good atmosphere throughout. The girls have taken on board so many things and the rest is just work. We know the benchmark, we know what we need to do and all these young players that have represented Wales proudly here, they have their best games in front of them. That is what I feel. The girls are raring to go, start the work and aim even higher.

Last updated: 28/10/13 11.24CET

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