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Bini reflects on 'bittersweet' triumph

France coach Bruno Bini's joy was tempered by injuries to two key players while, following the 3-1 reverse, Iceland's Siggi Eyjólfsson admitted: "Half the team were crying on the pitch after the match."

Bruno Bini (left) looks on as Corine Franco is taken off
Bruno Bini (left) looks on as Corine Franco is taken off ©Sportsfile

France coach Bruno Bini celebrated his first victory in the opening game of a major finals at any level with a comeback to defeat Iceland 3-1 but joy at the three Group B points were tempered by injuries to forward Candie Herbert and defender Corine Franco. Siggi Eyjólfsson, his Iceland counterpart, also insisted on taking positives from the match, describing it as an important "learning curve" for his less experienced players.

Bruno Bini, France coach
It's new for me to win the first game of any tournament. When I was the coach of the France Under-19 team [winning the 2003 UEFA European Women's U19 Championship], I lost or drew all of my opening games at big competitions. I'll enjoy this result tonight. We have three points which is a nice start and we will try to take one more in the next game against Germany, but that won't be easy.

Maybe if we hadn't conceded the opening goal, it wouldn't have given us the kick we needed to go on and score three times. I know my team may not run as fast or jump as high as some of the others, but I build my team on technique. As [France's 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning coach] Aimé Jacquet says, technique wins football matches. It's a bittersweet victory because we lost two important players to injury. The doctor went to the team hotel with them both after the game so I'm not sure how they are right now. Franco has a head injury and Candie has a cut on her eyebrow. She needs three stitches so we'll see whether we can do something to ensure she is back for the next game.

Louisa Nécib, France playmaker & Carlsberg Player of the Match
We started poorly, but we all wanted to start the competition with a victory and I'm glad to say we did that. It was nice to get the goal and I'm satisfied with my own performance, but, more importantly, I'm satisfied with the performance of the whole team. We always knew this would be a difficult match as Iceland compete for everything.

Siggi Eyjólfsson, Iceland coach
Half the team were crying on the pitch after the match and the other half were just as upset. Of course, it was disappointing for us, but we can take positives from the game. I think we created quite a few good chances and we played some good football, but we gave away two penalities and that's two too many against a team like France. We spent a lot of time chasing the game and they made it difficult for us, but it was a good learning curve for my players. It was our first match at a major tournament and we don't have time to be too disappointed.