Didier Deschamps urges France to find shooting boots at EURO 2024

France have been flat in front of goal
France have been flat in front of goalReuters
France manager Didier Deschamps said his side need to sharpen up in front of goal at EURO 2024 but the knockout rounds will give them an opportunity for a fresh start after they ended their group stage campaign with a 1-1 draw with Poland on Tuesday.

France finished second in Group D with five points, behind surprise table-toppers Austria, booking their spot in the last 16 where they will face the runners-up in Group E, where Romania, Belgium, Slovakia and Ukraine are all on three points.

Deschamps' side began their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Austria that came courtesy of an own goal, before they drew a blank in a 0-0 draw with the Netherlands and finished with Tuesday's draw in which Kylian Mbappe scored with a penalty.

Their lack of goals is a concern for Deschamps, who hopes they can rediscover the impressive scoring form they showed in qualifying.

Match stats
Match statsStatsperform

"We need to score more goals, we need to be more clinical, and I am looking for that," Deschamps told reporters. "We can improve but that's it. We need to hit them where it hurts but we have always had a goal average that is quite impressive, for these three games it hasn't quite been there.

"But I am positive, I am always positive. It is a new competition starting for us."

France took the lead against already-eliminated Poland when Mbappe fired home from the penalty spot after Ousmane Dembele was brought down by a clumsy challenge in the area.

It was Mbappe's first European Championship goal as he made his return to the France side wearing a face mask after breaking his nose in their opener against Austria.

Deschamps said it was important for Mbappe to get back into action although, wearing a mask is causing the France captain some issues.

"I thought he was quite good on his feet, with the mask he had to get used to it even though when he sweats it stings in his eyes and he needs to wipe his eyes," Deschamps said.

"But he is hungry to play and the game will have done him some good."

France were pegged back when Robert Lewandowski levelled with another penalty, which he had to retake after his first effort was saved by France keeper Mike Maignan, who was adjudged to have come off his line.

France had 19 shots in the game but could not find a way past Poland keeper Lukasz Skorupski - who was named man-of-the-match - from open play.

Skorupski was superb in goal
Skorupski was superb in goalProfimedia, Statsperform

"No I am not disappointed, honestly," Deschamps said. "Sometimes we weren't accurate enough. We gave everything we had until the very end.

"We do have a lot of chances. But it's not just about us not being accurate enough or getting shots on target.

"You also need to give credit where credit's due to the goalkeeper."


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