LEIPZIG, Germany : France could not score against the Netherlands and gain the win on Friday which would have secured top spot in Group D of Euro 2024 and while manager Didier Deschamps would have preferred goals, he was glad his side had opportunities to score.

A 0-0 draw leaves the group wide open, as neither side progressed to the last 16, but the France manager was still happy with his side’s performance.

“They (the Dutch) were a little more conservative than I imagined, but my only regret is that we didn’t have enough efficiency,” Deschamps told reporters.

“We did a lot of things but unfortunately we didn’t manage to find the back of the net. And if we hadn’t found the back of the net, we weren’t going to leave with the three points.

“Again, a high-intensity game, and we wanted to try to repeat the last performance (a 1-0 win over Austria), despite the fact that we didn’t have a lot of recovery (time).

“So I’m happy with what my guys did this time despite the fact that we weren’t as efficient as I would have liked.”

France were without forward Kylian Mbappe, who remained on the bench with the broken nose he suffered in the Austria game, but Deschamps had no regrets about not bringing him into the action, even after his side failed to win.

“He’s doing well every day, he’s improving, and if it was a decisive game tonight I might have thought twice about whether to play him or not,” he said.

“But it’s important for me to think about how he feels. He took a nasty blow, and he’s going to have to wear a mask. It may change his vision too, but that is also the risk he will take.

“And every day that passes, we get to a point where we want to be, which is better for him too. So today, after what happened yesterday and the day before, for me, I thought the best decision was to keep him on the bench.”

France take on Poland, who are already eliminated, in their final group game next Tuesday and Deschamps will want to see an improvement in front of goal for his players.

“Yes, we are solid, we are strong together, it’s important. But to win games, we have to score goals,” Deschamps said.

“So, again, the only regret I have, regarding the number of chances we saw, is the fact that we didn’t win.

“But we’ll look at it, and hopefully he (Mbappe) gets better for the next game in four days, so we can achieve the goal of doing it for the next game.”

(This story has been refiled to fix the quote in paragraph 3)


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