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Victory 'like a dream' for France

Grace Geyoro "screamed" when she put France ahead while Marie-Antoinette Katoto said the two-hour rain delay did not knock them off their stride. We speak to the final winners.

France celebrate with the trophy
France celebrate with the trophy ©Sportsfile
  • France won their fourth Women's U19 title with a 2-1 defeat of Spain
  • Grace Geyoro "screamed" when she scored first goal
  • Geyoro delighted to emulate France's 2016 U19 men's champions
  • Marie-Antoinette Katoto said two-hour rain delay did not put them off their stride
  • Coach Gilles Eyquem explains how players were kept focused during that interval

Grace Geyoro, first France scorer
It hasn't really sunk in yet, it's like a dream. But it isn't – we are very happy. It's always great to score, it was very important to get a goal in the first half. When I scored I couldn't really believe it, I screamed.

The penalty save changed the whole game. It [saved us]. We were happy last week when the boys won their U19 Championship – they showed us the way – so we are very happy to be champions for the '1997 generation'.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto, second France scorer
I am very, very happy. The team did a great job. It was very hard but we are so happy now. The weather of course helped my goal. It made it very difficult for all the players but it held up well for my goal.

We were very motivated [during the rain delay], we kept our focus, we could have waited longer or played extra time, we would have won anyway.

It wasn't my goal to finish top scorer – but of course it is a bonus, to be champion and top scorer.


Gilles Eyquem, France coach
It was a match full of surprises. Because of the score, because of the rain. The game began well; these are two very good teams, each trying to counteract the other one.

Then when the second half started, we pressed, but either side could have won. When we thought we had won, Spain scored and nearly equalised at the end.

During the long break we knew the game could start again. They stayed in the dressing room and we made sure they had enough to drink and eat and we kept them ready for every eventuality.

It is a good experience for the young players, an important moment in their careers. They kept improving during the tournament and their victory was well deserved even if Spain were also very good.