Soccer News of Saturday, 21 June 2014
Moussa Sissokho says free-scoring France are more than capable of making a major impact on the World Cup this summer.
Les Bleus only sealed their berth in Brazil courtesy of a dramatic play-off win over Ukraine, with Didier Deschamps’ men overturning a two-goal first-leg deficit with a stirring 3-0 triumph in Paris last November.
Since then, France have caught fire. After hammering Jamaica 8-0 in their final warm-up fixture, Les Bleus kicked off their campaign with a 3-0 win over Honduras before announcing themselves as serious contenders with a sensational 5-2 demolition of Switzerland in Salvador on Friday.
France’s front three of Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Valbuena contributed three goals and four assists between them and Sissoko feels that the 1998 World Cup winners have the firepower to shoot down any opponent.
“At the moment we are playing very well,” Sissoko told reporters after the Group E clash at Arena Fonte Nova. “We are strong defensively but also creating many chances in attack.
“Our strikers have great confidence at the moment. We’re scoring a lot of goals.
“A lot of different players are scoring, too. It’s great for the team. The coach can change someone but the new player comes in and plays well.
“We’re a good team, we’re playing very well and we can have a good tournament.
“We have still one more group game, though, against Ecuador, so we’ll try to win that game to go through as group winners.”
Sissoko also netted in Salvador, putting the seal on a fantastic French win with a fine finish 17 minutes from time.
“I am very happy to have scored my first goal for France – and at the World Cup too,” the Newcastle midfielder enthused. “That’s why I ran to celebrate with all my team-mates on the touchline.
“But the most important thing was the victory. I think the team played very well. We never stopped trying to score, so today was a great day for everyone in the squad – not just me.”
France now need only a point from their final group game to progress as winners of Group E.