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Japan defeat hurts Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps was left hurting after his team’s 1-0 loss to Japan in a friendly on Friday.

An 88th-minute goal from Shinji Kagawa was all that separated the two sides at Stade de France, giving Japan a surprise win.

Deschamps, whose team face Spain in a vital World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, was upset after losing a friendly he felt France deserved to win.

“It hurts. It is unfair in regards of everything we have done, but we were not offensively good enough and could not score the first goal,” he said.

“I knew the Japanese team and they were very generous on the pitch, acting selflessly. It was 0-0 and we left some spaces and there were a lot of changes which can throw off the squad.

“The result is tough obviously, but during the first and second half we had plenty of chances.

“Whenever we were not off target the goalkeeper (Eiji Kawashima) made an incredible save. It happens sometimes in football. It is not always the team who plays the best that wins.”

Despite having the likes of Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Jeremy Menez at his disposal, Deschamps’ side were unable to find a goal.

Former Marseille coach Deschamps said he had already turned his attention to the clash against Spain.

“I always hate losing even if sometimes we do not do what we have to and the opponent is better, but that was not the case tonight and it hurts even more,” he said.

“I am disappointed for the players because of all the hard work they have put in. We did not have the benefit of scoring tonight, so now we know what we have to face.

“It is time to get ready to recover quickly in order to be prepared for the game on Tuesday.”

Deschamps said his team would not create as many chances against Spain and warned they would need to be more clinical when they face the reigning world and European champions.

“We did have a lot of chances to score and, for sure, we will not have so many against Spain,” he said.

“Obviously in this kind of game we have to defend well too, and be able to find the efficiency that we did not have tonight for each chance we get.”

Sat 13 October, 2012
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