England vs France, FIFA World Cup quarter-final: Didier Deschamps said that “heart and guts” earned the defending champions France the semi-final spot at the 2022 tournament.
France beat England to reach the World Cup semis. (AP Photo)
By India Today Web Desk: France coach Didier Deschamps said that “heart and guts” earned his team the semi-final spot at the FIFA World Cup 2022.
France, who are looking to clinch back-to-back titles, defeated England 2-1 in the quarter-final to setup the last-four match with Morocco, who ended Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup dream.
“It is fabulous, it was a big game,” said Deschamps, whose France are aiming to become the first team in 60 years to retain the World Cup. “We played a superb England team who are strong technically and physically.
“It is brilliant for the players to be in the last four again. In these moments you kind of wish time could stop for a while. But tonight we are going to enjoy it. We got a bit lucky although we gave away two penalties. We kept our lead with our hearts and our guts.”
France got off with an early lead from Aurelien Tchouameni but England captain Harry Kane equalised it with a penalty. With 12 minutes from time, Olivier Giroud’s header brought France back in the front seat. England got another opportunity to make it 2-2 but Kane’s spot kick went high over the crossbar.
Giroud, who went past Thierry Henry to become France’s all-time top goalscorer, said France had to be at their best to get rid of England.
“This goal tonight, the 53rd, is even better (than equalling Henry). Just before I had a chance that I should have hit harder and scored,” Giroud said. “I thought I might get another chance and when it came to me it was an unbelievable feeling to score.
“You need to keep believing. (Antoine Griezmann) gave me a super ball, it is so good for the team, it is awesome. We knew the potential of this young England team. They have everything but we played a solid game, we tried to hurt them on the break. We went for it with all our mental strength.”