France coach admits 'failure' as hosts go out of World Cup
Paris (AFP) –
France coach Corinne Diacre accepted that her team's campaign at the women's World Cup would go down as a "failure" but said she would not resign after the hosts were knocked out by the United States in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Les Bleus lost 2-1 to the holders in Paris, a Megan Rapinoe brace leaving them with too much to do before Wendie Renard pulled a goal back late on at the Parc des Princes.
"I am not the type to step down. The president (of the French Football Federation) showed confidence in me by giving me a long-term contract," Diacre said.
"The decision is up to him. I still feel that I have work to do."
France's women had been dreaming of emulating their men, who won the World Cup in Russia last year and also won the tournament as hosts back in 1998.
Diacre had been set the target of at least going to the final, but just like in 2015 they could not get beyond the last eight.
"Yes it's a failure in a footballing sense, we can't hide from that," Diacre said. "We are far from fulfilling our objective."
"I hope we won something else tonight and since the start of the tournament, which is peoples' hearts.
"We showed that despite everything we were not all that far away from beating the United States. I've never seen the USA finish with five at the back, but it's no consolation."
The French coach said her team paid the price for being caught out defensively in the build-up to the USA's early opening goal, but was left to lament having to come up against the best team in the world so soon.
From the moment the draw was made back in December, the two countries were on a collision course to meet in the quarter-finals, and France have now gone out of five successive major tournaments -- two World Cups, two European Championships and an Olympics -- in the last eight.
"We were still playing the USA tonight, even if I am not looking for excuses," she said.
"When you have to play them in the quarter-finals, it is not exactly a gift for the host nation."
? 2019 AFP