Al Khor, Qatar – Football games can sometimes be decided in a matter of seconds. Saturday night, in the freshness of the Al-Bayat Stadium, after their 2022 World Cup quarter-final goal in a 1-1 draw aurelian tchoumeni And harry kane, marcus thurm was going to come for France with still about 10 minutes to play against a England the side that was on top; Olivier Giroud Was about to leave.
France coach Didier Deschamps had made up his mind, yet he felt something and decided to wait a while before making a substitution. A few seconds later, the goalkeeper denied Giroud’s volley Jordan Pickfordbefore the number 9 scored with a powerful header from Peaches of a cross almost straight after in the 78th minute antoine griezmann,
After celebrating the goal with his fellow sub by running onto the pitch to join Giroud in front of the French fans, Thuram sat back on the bench with a big smile on his face. He won’t come now, but it doesn’t matter.
At that point in the game, France was under pressure. England were the better team, playing on the front foot and creating chances but failing to kill France. But this France squad is all about resilience and mental strength. And when Kane had the chance to level the score – and become England’s outright record goal scorer – from the spot in the 84th minute, he blasted his penalty over the bar after a foul. theo hernandez Feather mason mount,
“The difference between the two teams was mental strength,” said the goalkeeper. hugo loris said after the game. “It was a tough game against a very good England team and they deserve a lot of praise because they put up a great fight. But we were solid in the key moments. We hurt them when we needed to.”
It was an emotional night for Lloris as he became the most capped France player with his 143rd appearance, overtaking defender Lilian Thuram, who was watching in the stands. But there was no emotion on the pitch; France took him out of the game. You have to have that kind of lethal instinct and ferocity. With what was happening on the pitch, with the referees, with the importance of the quarter-finals, the England players were very emotional at times.
“In games like this, you have to be ruthless in every way,” Lloris said. “The more you progress in the tournament, the more you have to elevate your game and have that mindset. There are no emotions. They can’t be a part of your game. Today we played at the level. We stood strong in the storm.” Were. “
Steve McManaman praised England’s performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup despite losing 2–1 to France.
The fortitude in the storm sums up the performance of France very well.
“Sometimes, the winner is not the best team, but the team that tackles all the elements of the game the most and has a killer instinct,” Giroud said. “You’ve got to put us down when you can because if you don’t, we’ll put you down. We knew we’d get another chance at some point. We took it. It’s time to win a big World Cup game.” Well, you have to.” Be clinical and we were. England were not enough.
les blues Have been in this situation before also. When you have to grin and bear it because you are under pressure, you can come back stronger later. Deschamps knew this.
“Talent in the team is not enough. You also need mental strength and some experience. At this level, it is won or lost by very narrow margins. In the World Cup, you need to fight for results and be dynamic,” he added. needs to change.” of a game There is a collective strength in this team. Something is clearly happening here, but we have to stay humble.”
France is in its seventh World Cup semi-final — only Germany is more (12). Deschamps has now won his 13th World Cup game and only Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari (14) and West Germany’s Helmut Schön (16) have done better in World Cup history.
Deschamps knew how difficult it would be to beat England. He told his players to expect a big fight before the game. He told them that they were going to come under pressure at times and that they had to fight. He also told them that whatever happened during the game, they would have a chance to win it at some point and take it. he was right.
When Giroud missed the first chance before the winning goal, all he thought was to pray for another chance. “I was praying to God in my head to give me another chance,” he said. “And he did.”
Moments later, Giroud took it and after the final whistle the French celebration went wild. Like four years ago, when it mattered most and they claimed the World Cup trophy in Russia 2018, France showed their resilience, collective strength and experience. They will again need every ounce of it in the semi-finals against the underdogs Morocco,