Barbetta calls for France refinement

France midfielder Amélie Barbetta shone with two goals against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but said her side must "raise standards" for their semi-final with Germany.

Amélie Barbetta scored her first goals this season against the hosts
Amélie Barbetta scored her first goals this season against the hosts ©Sportsfile

Despite being delighted with her two goals against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France midfielder Amélie Barbetta feels her team have plenty to work on before they meet Germany in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals on Wednesday.

The AS Saint-Etienne player found the net with a pair of precise efforts as Les Bleuettes sealed their last-four berth at the Milano Arena, putting her side 3-0 up with a 15th-minute strike in off the far post before curling a superb shot into the top corner from distance to round off a 6-1 victory.

"It was a good feeling to score and those were my first goals of the season," said Barbetta. "It was especially nice to do it on Mother's Day [in France]. Overall, though, we were a bit wasteful in possession and technically we weren't as good as we need to be."

Though the scoreline remained convincing, the hosts were able to register their first goal of the tournament and generally saw more of the ball than in previous losses to Spain and the Netherlands. "They surprised us a little," added Barbetta. "We watched videos of them and they didn't really put many passes together, but against us they were able to build moves."

The 19-year-old denied that minds had wandered in Kumanovo, however, with France's fate depending on the outcome of the game between their section rivals at the Železarnica Stadium. Victory for Spain would have almost certainly brought the tournament to an end for Jean-Michel Degrange's charges, but as it happened the Netherlands triumphed 2-0.

"Personally, I wasn't thinking about the other match," said Barbetta. "I was just focused on winning our game and it was only at half-time that I heard the Netherlands were 2-0 up. I was able to put it completely out of my mind."

France's focus will now fall on their semi-final tie against Group A winners Germany, who defeated them 2-1 in the group stage in Belarus last year – although it was France and not the three-time champions who eventually qualified from the section.

"We played Germany last year and they beat us so we know they're a good team, but we hope to get a different result this time," said Barbetta, who came on as a half-time substitute in that encounter. "We need to raise our standards in a number of areas but we believe we have the quality to go all the way."