France coach Didier Deschamps has revealed that his team got the upper hand and deservedly scored twice in the final 15 minutes of the game because the Eagles players had used all their energies in the first half of the game.
Deschamps however acknowledged the Eagles gave them quite a scare in the game. ‘Nigeria played a very physical game and had a real presence across the pitch. It was a challenge to go up against that, but we managed it. For an hour, the teams were pretty even, but then we were able to get the upper hand in the last half an hour,’he said and explained what gave them the upper hand.
‘The Nigerians were tired, and they started leaving gaps in their defence. We were dynamic and quick when it mattered, while Nigeria were slowing down.”
Deschamps who won the cup with France when they hosted in 1998 believes the victory over Eagles will give them a renewed belief that they can march on in the competition.
‘This deserved win will make us even stronger for the rest of the competition. I’m very proud to have reached the quarter-finals.’