France’s coach Lionel Rouxel on Sunday expressed his delight at the presence of New Caledonia – a French territory – in a World Cup, soon after his side’s 7-1 annihilation of the pacific island nation.
“It is great for French people that a French territory is participating a World Cup,” the coach said.
France scored six times in the first half, and completed the rout with an injury time strike.
Rouxel said his side conceded a goal in the 90th minute due to tiredness and a lapse in concentration.
“The game was of two parts. One where we scored six goals. The second half was more difficult. Players were tiring in these conditions. The real test will be against Japan. New Caledonia are a good team, but this is their first participation.”
He added, “It was humid and we need to rotate in such conditions to win the World Cup. We need all 21 players.”
The coach lavished praise on his star player Yacine Adli, who made three assists and set up nine chances.
“Yacine Adli played a good match. Great football player. Does things which other players cannot do. Need to preserve him. He can be a good player. “The World Cup is a good thing for him. He needs three things to break into the Paris Saint Germain (PSG) side and become a top player – needs to be a good boy, a good mentality and good player,” concluded the Frenchman.
New Caledonia coach Dominique Wacalie believed there was a big gulf between his and France’s players.
“The logic of France being better was expected. There is a vast difference. We will work out and try and get better in the next game. We have watched France many times and this was our first time on such a big stage. We knew what we were up against it. “France are a high-level team and we will strive to reduce the gap in the future,” he added.