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Germany beat nerves, France find draw 'cruel'

Germany' Stefan Böger was pleased his "nervous" team earned all three points, while Jean-Claude Giuntini said "football is cruel" as Iceland battled back to draw with France.

Germany coach Stefan Böger looks on as his side win their opener against Georgia
Germany coach Stefan Böger looks on as his side win their opener against Georgia ©Sportsfile

A "nervous" Germany did not find the going easy against a determined Gerogia team, but that was no less than coach Stefan Böger expected. In the later match in Group A, France coach Jean-Claude Giuntini admitted there was work to be done as his side let a two-goal lead slip to draw with Iceland.

Vasil Maisuradze, Georgia coach

It was a game of one mistake. Until that moment my team did everything right. We do not excuse such errors, but I cannot fault my boys. They fought very well against a very good Germany team and played exactly as I asked. We showed heart and commitment and created plenty of chances before the German goal – particularly in the first half, when I thought we were very good – and I hoped we could score, but we were denied by their goalkeeper every time.

Stefan Böger, Germany coach
I am happy. It was hard for us, but I knew it would not be easy. We can play much better than we did in the first half, and we showed what we can do in the second period. We attacked and created better chances, and I think overall our win was deserved.

I am not surprised with our first-half performance. People may say 'that is not the style of Germany', but they are just boys in their first tournament in Europe and they were very nervous. It is normal. At half-time I encouraged them and said we could play much better. We also changed a couple of things, both in players and tactically, and these are the reasons we won.

Jean-Claude Giuntini, France coach

For the first match in such a great competition it was normal for the team to behave as they did, making a few basic mistakes under these circumstances, and in terms of their mental and physical engagement on the pitch. I think we thought we had won the match at 2-0. Football is cruel, but these are the realities. I hope this was an accident and that we act this way only in our first match. The concern is that the performance of this team in this match was not at the high level it usually is. We can improve.

Gunnar Gudmundsson, Iceland coach
I am very happy we came back to get a point. We showed character and a good mentality – and as we proved, our strength is at set pieces. We struggled at the start. The French team have fast players and play at a tempo we found hard to adapt to and we conceded. But we improved as the game went on.

One thing my players dealt with very well was pressure – because of their belief they were very relaxed before the game. Although they went down to a very strong French team, they never stopped believing they could come back. In the end, that's what they did, and that's what makes us strong.