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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

We will win and qualify: Domenech

They are the only team among all former champions to have not won a match yet, but the French coach remains positive.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2006 01:02 IST
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Hindustantimes
         

They are the only team among all former champions here to have not won a match yet but Raymond Domenech remains positive.

The France coach is actually convinced they won against South Korea on Sunday. It was only that referee Benito Archundia thought otherwise, disallowing Patrick Vieira’s headed goal on the half-hour mark.

"We did score a second but the referee did not recognise that. It’s a pity. We did have the pre-requisites for victory.

"That was the turning point,” Domenech said more than once at the post-match press conference.

Asked if France would complain about this, the coach didn't give a clear answer but said, "We could ask for the video. It is sad that at this level of competition, available technology is not used.”

When he finally got over the disallowed goal, Domenech said he was disappointed at the result "because we really built pressure. We were the dominating team. We have a strong defence but, maybe, we didn’t show the ability to clear quickly.”

"Now, we’ve got to think of playing Togo on Friday.” Known to have less than cordial relations with the media, especially the French press, Domenech bluntly refused to take a question on whether France’s tactics were right but justified introducing Vikash Dhorasoo, instead of a more attacking player, by saying, “I didn't want to destabilise the team. And Vikash is a very attacking player.”

Life without Zinedine Zidane will be difficult, Domenech said with a shrug. "He will, of course, have to be replaced. You don’t have players of his class but someone will have to do the job.”

Questions on Zidane’s lack of form were stalled by the coach with the statement "I’m very content with the performance of my players, Zidane included. Yes, they were tired at the end but that was because they played an intense game.”

Asked whether this was Zidane’s last match, Domenech replied, "I think we will win and qualify.” South Korea coach Dick Advocaat was more than content. "I’m proud of the team. Like Togo, we were a goal down and this time we managed a draw.

The coach said he wouldn't think about Switzerland immediately. "I think we need to celebrate a little. Switzerland will come next.”

He accepted that France dominated the first half and said, "They have more quality.”