FIFA U17 World Cup: France boss Rouxel hails PSG starlet Adli after 7-1 thumping of New Caledonia
France played New Caledonia in their opening game of the FIFA U17 World Cup here in India and the match went perfectly according to the script for the Les Bleuets as they ran riot against the debutants from the South Pacific with the final score reading 7-1. Apart from two own goals that were gifted to the French team by their New Caledonian counterparts, Amine Gouiri, the Olympic Lyonnais striker, scored twice, Maxence Caqueret scored once, and captain Claudio Gomes too got his name on the scoresheet, while PSG forward Yacine Adli notched up three assists and was the main creative cog in a well oiled French machine.
The post-match press conference summary is given below:
“Good evening, It was a good game but I think it was a game of two halves, In the first half we played really well and managed to score 6 goals and controlled the game really well, but in the second half after 60 mins the players started getting tired and we couldn't match our performance of the first half and started giving more space to New Caledonia,” was the French coach Lionel Rouxel's statement when asked to describe the game.
The main test for the French team would be in the next game against Japan and the coach shared the same view and he even said that the real quality of his team will be tested in the next game against Japan, because even though New Caledonia were good it was their first World Cup and the gulf in class between the teams was evident on the pitch.
Not being able to keep a clean sheet is a matter of concern for the coach and he feels that his team conceded due to lack of concentration which occurred because of the scoreline at that moment and also tiredness of the players at the later stages of the game played a big part in conceding the goal.
He mentioned that he respected every opponent even though the difference in the quality of the two teams was expected he had asked his players to respect the opponents and not let their guard down.
“Football is about setting tactics and implementing tactics and in the second half we failed to do the second part properly that was to implement the tactics and to progress much further in the tournament we have to improve our attack and defence more,” was the coach statement when asked about the tactical aspects that were at play during the game.
He also confessed that as players were tiring fast, in order to save them for the later parts of the tournament, he had substituted his top performers (Adli, Gouiri, Caqueret) of the evening and gave a chance to his reserve bench players to showcase their talents.
“It is a great moment and very proud thing to have another French territory for the FIFA World Cup,” was Rouxel's answer when quizzed about the prospect of having another French colony in the World Cups.
He mentioned it was not correct to be comparing this bunch of French talents with the current senior team bunch who have like of Mbappe, Dembele, Griezmann, Giroud and Lacazette. He also said in recent times France has been producing exceptional strikers or forwards and hopes that even this U17 bunch can make it big.
Speaking about Yacine Adli, undoubtedly the man of the match having had 3 assists to his name and numerous moves and passes that could have led to more goals had the New Caledonian goalkeeper not put up a spirited display, the coach said: “Yacine played good creative football, he did what other players on the pitch couldn’t do, and to preserve him I substituted him. He can go on to be a big player one day but for that to happen he has to be a Good Boy first with the right mentality and hard work.”