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France goal gives Cabaye a lift

Yohan Cabaye's thoughts turned straight to his little daughter after he scored in France's 2-0 win against Ukraine, with a thunderstorm in Donetsk failing to shake Les Bleus.

Yohan Cabaye celebrates scoring France's second against Ukraine
Yohan Cabaye celebrates scoring France's second against Ukraine ©Getty Images

When Yohan Cabaye scored in France's 2-0 win against Ukraine in Group D, his thoughts went straight to his family back at home, while team-mate Olivier Giroud – having watched much of the game from the bench – was just delighted to be involved in a winning performance.

Yohan Cabaye, France midfielder
How did it feel to score? Great joy, and also relief. Then you start thinking of your children, so I of course thought of my little daughter. I think these are special moments that will stay with you forever in your career. In the end what counts is the win for the team and I was lucky enough to score.

This time we attacked from the beginning of the match. The coach chose the formation to create spaces in behind, because we were also aware that they would tackle a lot on the right-hand side, so with Franck [Ribéry] on our left we could counter that. That was how we scored the first goal. I think we succeeded tonight and the team is relieved. We can prepare for the third match with more confidence, for sure.

The '87 generation of Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema and tonight Jérémy Menez? If a team wants to accomplish something special, it needs talent. And those players are talented. There is also Hatem Ben Arfa, who did not play tonight. Those four players are really talented and we stay behind them and try to keep our eyes open. Because, let's put it like that, in the attack they run a little bit everywhere. But that's not a bad thing as long as they do their job and score goals. That's what is really important. We are there to support them and help them play. We can consider ourselves lucky to have them, and I hope that they will stay without any injuries and in good form for the rest of the tournament.

Olivier Giroud, France forward
It was good when I came on. I had to get into the game. It would have been better if I could have played a little more but today, the coach decided to bring me on 10-15 minutes from the end. I tried to do my best on the park but the most important thing is that we were able to win those three points, in a group that will be tight until the very end.

You see the game differently when you are on the bench. You can feel the tension and the nervousness. It is an energy-consuming experience, because you have to fully support your team-mates who are playing but, of course, you have to conserve your energy in case the coach brings you on.

I would say that Ukraine played more openly because we had more open spaces than we did against the English, because England played very carefully. So, against the Ukrainians, we were able to impose our rhythm, which explains why we managed to create plenty of chances and score goals.

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