On the second matchday of Group A, France beat Costa Rica 3-1 to take the lead of the group. Here are the post-match reactions from the coaches and players of both teams.
Bernard Diomède (France head coach):
« My players got off to a great start and stuck to their game plan. Costa Rica are a very physical and athletic team. We want the players to learn quickly from their mistakes. We played a great game as a team and I'm proud of the players.
We rotated the players to keep them fresh physically, as some of them are coming off a long season. We're very pleased with the players and very proud of them, they're managing to juggle their studies and the Tournament at the moment. »
Eliesse Ben Seghir (France forward):
« It's always a source of pride to wear the jersey and give your all on the pitch. I'm one of those taking my A-levels at the moment, so I've adapted very quickly. I know this group very well, and we're like brothers.
I'm lucky enough to be playing in Ligue 1, so I have to set an example, give the best of myself and perform as well as possible. »
Douglas Sequeira (Costa Rica head coach) :
« We knew we were playing the last winners of this tournament, France, so it was going to be a tough game. We analyzed their 4-3-3 style of play. We controlled it pretty well in the first half. But when they scored the 2-1 goal, we switched to 4-3-3 to go in search of a draw, but we conceded a third goal. We're going to prepare well for a great game against Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
We've set up an attacking game with a desire to create space for our wingers. We tried to play as a team so that we could go 2-2 up. But unfortunately, we took a very strong transition which sealed the match.
We have a few regrets after this match. After watching the draw between Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, we had a great opportunity to get a good result. We respect France, the strategy was simple, they have players who love spaces. I think that with the repositioning of Brandon Aguilera in midfield, we regained possession. I liked the way my team played with the ball. »
Santiago Van der Putten (Costa Rica defender) :
« It was a match with great adversity and a very intense level. A level we're not used to face. But we gave everything we had for 90 minutes. We had a lot of chances and we tried to win the game, but unfortunately we took two transitions from them and the game was over.
We know that at this level you always have to stay focused. We knew that France had fast players. We didn't have the chance to counter them. We were solid, the line of 5 defenders did their job well, and we managed our defensive movements and transitions well.
We came here to France to qualify for the rest of the tournament. Our objective hasn't changed despite today's defeat. To achieve it, we need to win against Saudi Arabia on Sunday. »