Deschamps hails important three points

Didier Deschamps hailed "three very important points" as France came from a goal down to beat Sweden 2-1 in their World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France on Friday night.

Emil Forsberg had opened the scoring on 54 minutes before Paul Pogba levelled three minutes later ahead of Dimitri Payet's 65th minute winner.

After the match, a delighted Deschamps said: "Obviously they're three very important points, as we were locked on points with Sweden before this match. 

"It was our last qualifier of the calendar year and we now have ten points from a possible 12. 

"That's a great points tally to have. Still, it was a complicated match, as it was against the Netherlands (0-1). 

"The France team has quality, but so do our opponents. Sweden played a very good match, doing what they do well in their dense and athletic 4-4-2 formation. 

"To counter that, you need to play with pace and more movement. We did that better in the second half; it wasn't enough in the first. They're far from clumsy on the ball. When they play out of defence, their players can create danger, and they're strong form set pieces too. 

"It was a tough match but, even after going behind, we reacted quickly and took the lead. We still have this strength of character and that's important. The qualifiers are tough for everyone."

Sweden coach Janne Andersson, meanwhile, felt his side deserved at least a point from the match.

He said: "We deserved a better result. We're disappointed not to have been able to keep our lead for longer after we scored. 

"We were unlucky, but we showed a lot of courage and initiative. We didn't just defend well, we looked dangerous in attack, too. 

"In the second half, we should have kept the score as it was for much longer. It's a shame as France's second goal was off-side, but that happens; that's how sport is. We're proud of our performance tonight."

The result saw France top Group A with 10 points, ahead of Sweden on seven.

Comments