France yet to reach '100 per cent' at Women's World Cup

A fourth win from four matches was not enough to convince head coach Corinne Diacre that France is fulfilling its potential.

France progressed to the last-8 after a hard-fought win against Brazil, which came in the extra time. With this, France joined Norway, England and Germany - as all four European nations clinched a last-8 spot.   -  Getty Images

France head coach Corinne Diacre believes the Women's World Cup host is still some way short of fulfilling its potential despite moving into the quarterfinal.

Amandine Henry netted an extra-time winner as France defeated Brazil 2-1 in the last 16 in Le Havre on Sunday.

That was France's fourth victory from four matches at the tournament, yet its performance, as at times in the group stage, was not wholly convincing.

It was put to Diacre the pressure of the home crowd might have affected her players, but she suggested the individual struggles of some players had a greater impact.

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"We've got to the quarterfinal, we're not in the last 16 any more," she told a news conference. "We know there will be pressure, we know there will be that burden to bear.

"You have to understand that playing in front of such a big crowd, even on your home turf, is not something that is easy to get your head around. I think we can be patient, see our players crumble under pressure for a couple of seconds.

"I know my players inside out, I know they weren't at 100 per cent today - but the target is to hit that 100 per cent for the next game.

"Will this happen? I don't know. I don't have a magic wand or a crystal ball, I can't see into the future. It's something that we're working on.

"Maybe we're at 80 per cent? I don't know. It's difficult for us to measure. On an individual basis, some of them are at 60 per cent, some at 70 per cent, some are doing very well, some could go even further.

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"The problem is you have to take the team as a whole and there is something that is not gelling. Why? Because some are not hitting their potential on an individual basis."

However, Diacre explained the difficulty of facing Brazil: "These games are difficult. It's not easy to score, it's not easy to dominate. We don't ever go into these games thinking it's going to be a piece of cake.

"The girls did exactly what they needed to do, getting those goals. Obviously I'm satisfied but I need to ensure that I keep a cool head for the next stage."

Brazil boss Vadao, who insisted his future is in the hands of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), believes France is well equipped to now go all the way.

"France have everything it takes to win," he said. "Today, we knew that the team that advanced would eliminate a strong rival. France were able to eliminate us.

"Now they have a very difficult fixture, but France are prepared to win the World Cup - there is no doubt about that."

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