Corinne Diacre said France were “here to make history” after overtaking holders Netherlands to reach the semi-finals of the Women’s European Championship for the first time.
Les Bleues secured a 1-0 win over the Dutch in Rotherham thanks to a penalty by Eve Perisset in the first half of extra time.
They join eight-time winners Germany in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, a first appearance in the last four of the competition after being eliminated in the quarter-finals of each of the last three editions.
Boss Diacre, who took charge shortly after Euro 2017, said when asked about the record so far: “It’s not our story. We are here to make history. The players here and the staff, we want to make history for ourselves and there’s still a way to go.”
She added: “We’ve reached a new level tonight but it’s not the end for us. We definitely want to reach the final. When we set out our ambitions, we looked to July 31.”
Defender Perisset, who joined Chelsea from Bordeaux last month, converted from the penalty spot in the 102nd minute after Dominique Janssen’s tackle against Kadidiatou Diani went into a VAR review and Croatia referee Ivana Martincic followed the incident on the pitchside monitor.
It finally saw Daphne van Domselaar beaten after France created numerous chances during regulation time but was frustrated by some excellent saves from the young Dutch goalkeeper, plus two goal-line clearances from defender Stefanie van der Gragt and misses including Delphine Cascarino hit the post.
Diacre said: “I’m delighted, I’m very proud. I like the fact that the players gave their all, they pushed on, they stayed true to our game plan. We were rewarded for our efforts tonight.”
Diacre said France were dealing with “an exceptional goalkeeper”, adding when asked if he would try to tackle the problem over the next few days that he had many chances but only scored one goal: “I won’t solve anything for the next three days – I don’t have a wand.
“As I said, we put in an incredible performance. In our first game (a 5-1 win against Italy) we were very clinical and I hope to be clinical again in our next game.”
The Netherlands struggled to exert much influence in attack, despite record goalscorer Vivianne Miedema returning to action after two games after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Boss Mark Parsons said he was proud of his players’ performance despite the loss and described 22-year-old Van Domselaar’s performance as “world class”.
The Englishman – who succeeded current England coach Sarina Wiegman, who guided the Dutchwoman to Euro 2017 and the 2019 World Cup final – said: “I’m incredibly proud of the players and the staff. You’ve seen players give absolutely everything, there isn’t a player left with even an ounce of energy left.
“The first half was very difficult, it wasn’t us, it wasn’t good enough. But thanks to Daphne and a few others, some heroic defenders, we won 0-0. Much better second half and we believed in extra time. They had their moment at a very important time when bodies are tired and they took advantage of it. But I couldn’t be prouder of the effort
“The future is bright and I wish we could have shown that a bit more in this tournament but it wasn’t to be.”
Referring to Van Domselaar, Parsons said: “I just told her this is the best goalkeeping performance I’ve seen at Euro since Nadine Angerer (Germany) in 2013 and she has a Ballon d’Or this year won. She was very good in the other games and tonight she was world class. She is the goalkeeper of the tournament, no one is even close to her.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/france-germany-milton-keynes-euros-sarina-wiegman-b2129924.html Corinne Diacre: France wants to make history in the first semi-final of the European Championship