France here to build history, says head coach Diacre

Corinne Diacre

Corinne Diacre

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ROTHERHAM (July 23): France head coach Corinne Diacre has said her side are here to build their own history after qualifying for the women's Euros semi-final with a 1-0 triumph over reigning champions the Netherlands on Saturday.

Eve Perisset scored from the spot on a penalty in extra time for the win, marking the first time France have managed to reach this stage at a European Championships. France will face Germany in the semi-finals on Wednesday (July 27). They have yet to taste a major tournament final.

"That's not our history. We're here to build history," Diacre said. "The players here and the staff — we want to make history for ourselves. There's still a bit of a way to go."

France dominated much of the game with 33 shots compared with nine, but Netherlands goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar denied them.

"It was a long one this evening," Diacre added. "We would have liked to have scored earlier on but we were up against an incredible Dutch goalkeeper.

"In terms of our fitness, the players gave lots of answers this evening and defensively we also provided lots of answers.

"We didn't provide the answers in attack in terms of being clinical but we did create chances and get into situations."

Forward Selma Bacha, UEFA's Player of the Match, said: "As players on the pitch we never had any doubt. I think the team was perfect this evening there's nothing to add.

"There was a party in the dressing room afterwards. We're going to savour this moment and tomorrow we will be in recovery mode."

The Netherlands have suffered injury setbacks, with first-choice goalkeeper Sari Van Veenendaal ruled out of the tournament while Covid-19 has also struck Vivianne Miedema and Jackie Groenen.

Head coach Mark Parsons was proud of how his side played in the face of adversity.

"We had a lot of challenges, a lot of problems, a lot of adversity but you didn't feel any excuse from the players," he said.

"In the end, we were having to change the team every game because of the problems and you could tell that our football communication is not as high as we want it to be in a quarter-final.

"Because of the energy and the fight and the heart of these players we kept the game really tight."

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