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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
Santini angry at defending

CROATIA 2-2 FRANCE
David Trezeguet and Zinedine Zidane.
France coach Jacques Santini has told his side to stop giving away soft goals after seeing them concede twice in four minutes in the 2-2 draw with Croatia.

"We must now have a good result against the Swiss," said Santini, whose side need a draw on Monday to progress.

"We have seen that in football things can quickly change. Against England, we scored two quick goals. This time it was the Croats who did it to us.

"We cannot repeat these moments of weakness if we want to go far."

France assumed control after Zinedine Zidane put them ahead with a deflected free-kick.

But a Milan Rapaic penalty and a Dado Prso strike gave the defending champions some anxious moments before David Trezeguet equalised in the 63rd minute.

Perhaps the squad need to wake up a bit
France coach Jacques Santini
"I was very satisfied with our first-half showing, but then 20 disappointing minutes followed during which time we were giving the ball away stupidly," said Santini.

"We allowed the Croatians to get back into contention, to play to their strengths and make strong runs with the ball.

"Perhaps we relaxed and thought we had done the most difficult part in the first match.

"Perhaps the squad need to wake up a bit. At least we have the advantage of having our destiny in our own hands.

"We dropped two points which means we didn't manage to sew up qualification for the next phase.

"But as far as getting a point it is evidence that the French team resolved not to be humiliated following the opening 20 minutes of the second half.

"There is no point over-analysing what happened going into the game against Switzerland. The thing is to get a result that will take us into the quarter-finals."

Trezeguet admitted the ball had touched his hand prior to his goal.

But he said: "It wasn't deliberate, though I guess the Croatians will be a little disappointed."

Santini acknowledged that Trezeguet's strike partner Thierry Henry is not performing as well for his country as he did for Arsenal last season.

Henry showed plenty of creativity against Croatia, and had several chances, but did not score.

"If you compare him now with the goals or assists he does for Arsenal, I agree that he is not playing as well as he does for them," said Santini.

"But I can only say that Titi was very much to the fore in the first 20 minutes."





Links to more France stories


 

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Highlights: Croatia 2-2 France



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