Dembele: France have the appetite for success

Two victories from two Group A games have taken France into the semi-finals with a match to spare, and Moussa Dembele is keen to keep a five-match winning run going.

Moussa Dembele (No12) is congratulated after putting France 2-1 up against Ukraine
Moussa Dembele (No12) is congratulated after putting France 2-1 up against Ukraine ©Sportsfile

France have developed a taste for winning at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Greece, yet their appetite is far from satisfied according to Moussa Dembele.

The Fulham FC forward played a key role in Les Bleuets reaching the semi-finals with a match to spare on Thursday, coming off the bench to restore France's lead against Ukraine in a 3-1 victory which, thanks to a 1-0 win over Austria in their Group A opener, ensured they were the first nation to book a berth in the last four.

There will be no sitting back when they face the hosts in their final group appointment, however. Dembele assured UEFA.com that France have come to Greece with one objective. "It's always good to get a win which puts you through ahead of your final group game, but we want to win every game," said the 18-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on the day France play Greece in Katerini. "Of course we also want to win the last game even if we are already through. We want to finish top of the group and besides, we want to win every time we play."

Watch France overcome Ukraine
Watch France overcome Ukraine

France have already underlined this as they are currently on a five-game winning streak, having conceded just three goals in a campaign in which they have failed to win only once – against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the autumn qualifying round.

Confidence is understandably high, but keeping perspective and seeking to improve day by day is one of the factors behind Patrick Gonfalone's side's progression. Before Dembele struck to make it 2-1, Ukraine had threatened to go in front themselves, although Dembele almost welcomed that equalising goal.

"Even when Ukraine scored, we were always confident that we would win, provided we just woke up and did what we had to do," he said. "I wouldn't necessarily say it was because they scored that we eventually woke up, but certainly that shook us up and we were then able to go on and win this match."

Moussa Dembele scores France's second goal against Ukraine
Moussa Dembele scores France's second goal against Ukraine©Sportsfile

It may have looked quite comfortable in the end, but the 3-1 scoreline did not alter Dembele's overall assessment. "We didn't really get our game going well today and we were a bit insecure," he said. "Now we've got two days to recover and prepare for our final group game. There were good things from the game, but this game's now behind us and we've got to think of our next.

"We have a few little knocks, one pretty bad I think, but we'll try to do what we can to be ready for our final [group] game." Ready to win, as their gourmand appetite commands.

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