France coach Didier Deschamps said on Thursday his side have shown they are still a force to be reckoned with, with a stunning 3-2 victory over Belgium in the Nations League following their shock defeat to Switzerland in of the knockout stages of Euro 2020 this year.
The French world champions, who struggled in back-to-back draws against Bosnia and Ukraine before beating Finland in the World Cup qualifiers, were in a difficult position in the semi-finals against number Belgium a world when they were down 2-0 at the end of the first half.
But the reaction of the France team was magnificent, crowned with a goal from Theo Hernandez at the last minute to reserve a place in the final next Sunday against Spain.
Deschamps said at a press conference after Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Hernandez scored after Belgium advanced with goals from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku in the first half, “We were knocked out by Switzerland (at Euro 2020), but the France team is still there. We have confirmed what we have done against Finland and against the Belgian team. Who is the best team in Europe, and we are still among the best.”
Deschamps added that the game was among the best in his tenure as France coach, which began in 2012.
“It’s one of the best games for the team because of its course and the strength of the opponent. Despite the difficult situation we faced, we had the pride and strength of character to change it. It’s a great time. “
The France team got off to a good start, but fell back in the last 20 minutes of the first half, and gave Belgium the opportunity to take a lead that seemed comfortable, but ended the match. coach Roberto Martinez’s team in the second half.
“We were below our level in the last part of the first half, but as soon as we played more aggressively things changed. The players were frustrated in the first half, but that’s because that we gave Belgium the opportunity to score those goals. two goals. “
“The players showed pride and a strong personality,” he added, praising the defensive performance of the attacking trio of Mbappe, Benzema and Antoine Griezmann.
Mbappe, who hasn’t scored in his last six internationals, netted Benzema’s first goal before leveling on a penalty after missing the decisive penalty against Switzerland in June.
“Killian had no doubts. He was determined after lacking in efficiency in the European Championship. As I have always said, the France team is always better with Kylian Mbappé.”