France captain Hugo Lloris urged his side to "forget what happened tonight" after a 2-0 loss to eliminated Sweden left Les Bleus facing up to a tough quarter-final against Spain.
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Hugo Lloris urged his side to "forget what happened tonight" after France's 23-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat by eliminated Sweden. It meant Laurent Blanc's side had to settle for second in Group D and a quarter-final against UEFA European Championship holders Spain, which Lloris and team-mate Gaël Clichy say will be a "great" match.
Hugo Lloris, France goalkeeper
I have mixed feelings. We were playing to win but, unfortunately, we could never find the right pass. I think Sweden deserved to win. A positive point is, of course, the fact we have qualified, and we have to bear that in mind. We must forget what happened tonight, remain positive and prepare for what will be a difficult quarter-final, a great match.
Sweden defended very deep, then attacked. They played intelligently and challenged us physically and we weren't able to find the right answers; we somehow played their game and made mistakes. We couldn't find the right solutions, but against Spain it will be completely different.
Until tonight, we have been proving we are a powerful team. This evening that was less apparent, we were too circumspect with our chances. Sweden did what they had to do and the most important thing now is to recover and prepare for the next match. [The quarter-final] will also be a great test for us, where we will have to show what we can do. We'll have to be there and end that match with as few regrets as possible.
Gaël Clichy, France defender
We wanted to win but we came up against a very good team with great players. We have to acknowledge that we played poorly tonight. We were a bit tired because of the heat and the fact that some players have taken part in three games in [nine] days, but that goes for every team. We could have done better defensively and been more creative offensively. But there's nothing to worry about.
The end of our 23-game unbeaten run is not a big deal. It doesn't change what we've achieved over the past two years. It means we now face a quarter-final against Spain, but if you want to win the tournament you have to beat everybody. We have to rest now but it's going to be a great game to be involved in.