Tokyo Olympics: Ripoll calls for France response after Mexico misery

By Sports Desk July 22, 2021

France head coach Sylvain Ripoll has called on his players to "digest" their 4-1 thumping by Mexico and promptly step up their game at Tokyo 2020.

Les Bleus went into the Olympic tournament rated as being among the leading medal contenders along with Brazil and Spain.

But they suffered a miserable defeat to Mexico on Thursday and are now under pressure in Group A with just three days until their next match against South Africa.

The match was goalless at half-time, with five goals scored in an extraordinary second period.

But France only accounted for one of those strikes, a penalty from captain Andre-Pierre Gignac.

"The first thing we are going to do is digest what happened," said Ripoll. "We only have a couple of days between matches so it's not very much time. 

"Of course we knew this would be difficult but we know we can do better. There's not a lot of time [between matches] so each player will have to focus on themselves individually.

"We play as a team but everybody needs to step up their game so we can get a better result in the game against South Africa."

Ripoll felt France's struggles to keep the ball were key to their defeat, but does now feel Mexico will be looked at in a different light.

"We are disappointed, not just with the result but with the content of the match," he added.

"We should have had a better balance, we needed to be better, but now we can really understand the quality of the Mexico team, which is a really high-quality team.

"There's more that we should have done. It's important to understand that we need to improve our game going forward. 

"In football it's all about having the ball and we struggled with that."

Hosts Japan, who beat South Africa 1-0 in their opener, are the other team in Group A.

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Barcelona call time on Koeman tenure BREAKING NEWS: Barcelona call time on Koeman tenure

    Ronald Koeman has been sacked by Barcelona after the club’s dismal start to the 2021-22 campaign rolled on.

    Koeman replaced Quique Setien in August 2020 but has failed to make an impact at Camp Nou as he battled with Barca's dire financial situation, which led to Lionel Messi departing for Paris Saint-Germain.

    Barca sit ninth in LaLiga after 10 games and Wednesday’s defeat to Rayo Vallecano proved the final straw.

    That loss followed on from a 2-1 home reverse at the hands of Real Madrid in El Clasico, with Koeman's vehicle mobbed by an angry group of Barca supporters after that match. 

    Barca's form in the Champions League has also been poor. The Blaugrana lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich and Benfica respectively in their opening matches, before clinching a 1-0 home win over Dynamo Kiev.

    It is the first time Barca have opened with two losses in the competition, while the defeat to Benfica also inflicted back-to-back group game losses in a single season for the first time since 2000-01, with only Louis van Gaal (five) losing more such matches at Barca's helm than Koeman (three).

    After each passing poor result, Koeman has conceded his future is out of his hands, though he argued the performance against Rayo did not befit the result.

    Yet Barca's board decided to cut ties, with their decision confirmed early on Thursday morning local time.

     

  • Bayern suffered 'collective blackout' in Gladbach thrashing – Salihamidzic Bayern suffered 'collective blackout' in Gladbach thrashing – Salihamidzic

    A stunned Hasan Salihamidzic felt Bayern Munich suffered from a "collective blackout" in their "inexplicable" 5-0 DFB-Pokal thrashing at Borussia Monchengladbach.

    The Bundesliga champions suffered a humiliating second-round hammering at Borussia-Park, where they were three goals down after 21 minutes on Wednesday.

    Ramy Bensebaini scored twice after Kouadio Kone opened the scoring in the second minute and Breel Embolo rubbed salt into Bayern's wounds with a second-half double.

    Bayern were a shambles as they were ripped to pieces by Die Fohlen in the absence of head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who had to watch on at home as he isolates after testing positive for coronavirus.

    The Bavarian giants' sporting director Salihamidzic was taken aback by such a woeful performance.

    Asked for his reaction to the defeat, he told ARD: "Absolutely shocked. We just weren't there. We didn't win a duel in the first half, it was a collective blackout."

    He added: "For me, this is inexplicable. We knew how difficult it would be here, we discussed everything. It is difficult to explain."

    Dayot Upamecano endured a nightmare outing on his 23rd birthday, looking totally lost and making a poor mistake for the fourth goal from Embolo.

    The centre-back was replaced straight after that error, but Salihamidzic says he put a bad night behind him.

    "We win together, we lose together. We will rebuild Upa. It's inexplicable because he played really well recently," Salihamidzic said.

    Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez also started on a day in which in was revealed he had has avoided jail time for disobeying a restraining order in 2017 after a Madrid court accepted his appeal.

    Joshua Kimmich has also been in the headlines recently after stating he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19, but Salihamidzic says off-field issues cannot be used as an excuse.

    He said: "[It is] Difficult to say. There were a lot of stories in the past week, but we got along with that in the games before that too. The lack of vaccination was not the reason today that we did not get into the duels and could stop the balls."

  • Nuno praises Tottenham unity in EFL Cup victory at Burnley Nuno praises Tottenham unity in EFL Cup victory at Burnley

    Nuno Espirito Santo hailed the unity demonstrated by Tottenham in their 1-0 EFL Cup fourth-round win over Burnley. 

    Lucas Moura's 68th-minute header proved the difference at Turf Moor as Spurs progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition for the third time in four seasons. 

    The visitors were made to dig deep as Burnley pushed for an equaliser late on, but they held out for victory and a first clean sheet in 11 matches in all competitions. 

    Nuno felt his players deserved credit for their application as they responded to Sunday's Premier League defeat at West Ham. 

    "We did a good job controlling the way they play," he said. "We were much better in the second half in terms of mobility and dynamic.  

    "The end of the match is about defending, sticking together. It's good for the team.  

    "We know that games require suffering and require unity, so we must congratulate the players because they did a good job." 

    One sour note saw Tottenham lose Bryan Gil to injury after just 25 minutes of the tie, with Nuno revealing they are still awaiting a full assessment of the damage. 

    Last season, Spurs were runners-up to Manchester City, whose quest for a fifth straight EFL Cup triumph was ended by a penalty shoot-out defeat at West Ham on Wednesday. 

    Nevertheless, Nuno was quick to play down his side's chances of going the extra step this year after booking their place alongside the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City in the quarter-final draw. 

    "We cannot look much further," he added. "We came here to go through; we did it in a good way and with a good game.  

    "Let's see the draw and wait for the next one. 

    "There are still a lot of teams. Every team involved in the competition is an option, so let’s focus on ourselves." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.