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Koura ready for England rematch

Published: Thursday 27 May 2010, 10.18CET
Anthony Koura told UEFA.com that France "have a new goal of reaching the final" as they prepare to take on familiar opponents in the shape of England on Thursday afternoon in Vaduz.
by Paul Saffer
from Buchs
Koura ready for England rematch
Anthony Koura scored against England in February ©Sportsfile
Published: Thursday 27 May 2010, 10.18CET

Koura ready for England rematch

Anthony Koura told UEFA.com that France "have a new goal of reaching the final" as they prepare to take on familiar opponents in the shape of England on Thursday afternoon in Vaduz.

At half-time against Switzerland on Monday, France were 1-0 down and contemplating an early UEFA European Under-17 Championship exit. By the 64th minute, Anthony Koura was scoring to put France 3-1 and the forward does not want to stop with Thursday's semi-final against England.

Le Mans UC 72 striker Koura had already made his presence felt with the equaliser in France's 2-1 opening defeat by Spain. His team rallied to beat Portugal 1-0 despite ending with nine men and their comeback against Switzerland took them through Group B and one step from Sunday's decider. "We were hoping to reach the semi-final so we are happy with that and now we have a new goal of reaching the final, and winning that," Koura told UEFA.com.

Koura has experience of playing England as he scored to earn France a 1-1 draw with this afternoon's opponents in the Algarve Tournament in February. France lost to Portugal in that competition, a result they have improved upon here, and now they aim to do the same against England.

"They are a very good team, physically they are probably stronger than we are, but on a technical level we can probably do something to beat them," Koura said. "We had a lot of chances against them which we didn't take. The coach will show us videos before the game too, to help us take them on."

While England have won all their games in Liechtenstein, France lost their opener but that is not necessarily a bad omen. In the elite round on home soil Turkey defeated France in the first game but they recovered to beat Norway and Wales, and – thanks to Liechtenstein withdrawing their team – qualified as best runners-up.

"The fact we lost the first game and then came back to reach the semi-finals shows we have improved," Koura said. "It happened in the elite round as well when we lost to Turkey, but won the other two games to qualify.

"I am happy because I have scored two goals but the important thing is how the team has done," Koura added. "Despite the loss against Spain there has always been a good team spirit. To say we are confident [we can win the title] would be excessive, but we believe in ourselves."

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