Women's World Cup: France fortunate to beat Norway, insists Martin Sjogren

France beat Norway 2-1 in the Women's World Cup on Wednesday, though Martin Sjogren thinks the hosts were fortunate to beat his team.

Published : Jun 13, 2019 12:58 IST

Norway coach Martin Sjogren is adamant his side was unfortunate to lose to Women's World Cup host France 2-1 in Nice on Wednesday, with a controversial penalty proving the difference.

Sjogren's side was the better team in the first half and was unlucky not to be ahead at half-time as France weathered the storm. France subsequently began the second period in lighting fashion, opening the scoring through Valerie Gauvin's smart finish within a minute of the restart.

Wendie Renard's calamitous own goal soon after put Norway back on level terms, but France was awarded a contentious penalty 18 minutes from time, with Ingrid Syrstad Engen adjudged to have caught Marion Torrent after a VAR review, and Eugenie Le Sommer converted the winner from the spot.

REPORT | France 2 - 1 Norway

Sjogren had no complaints about his team's performance and was adamant it was worthy of a point.

"We lost the match but I thought we were equal with the French," he told reporters. "Of course, there are many feelings after the match. Sometimes you can handle these feelings and sometimes not. We knew that we were going to face a very good opponent and we had a good plan, I think.


"We conducted the plan in a very good way. I wasn't surprised by the French team — we knew they were going to be athletic with fast players and speed.

"But we played well and I'm very proud of how my players performed out there. In my book, I think we deserved a 1-1."

Victory moved France onto six points from two games, meaning it is almost certainly going to progress to the knockout phase. But coach Corinne Diacre is not getting carried away yet as she still considers France to be outsider to win the tournament.

"We knew this evening was going to be a different kind of game than the one we played last Friday," she said in reference to the 4-0 win over South Korea.

"We knew we weren't going to be winning 4-0 and wanted to show a lot of respect. We did what we had to do.

"We're still outsiders for the tournament. We found some difficulties here and this match shows it. The World Cup is very complex. We saw a difficult game and it's all about the fine details. Little by little, along the way: that's when you become the favourite."

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