Deschamps still hopeful France can qualify for World Cup
By Igor Nitsak
KIEV (Reuters) - No team has ever overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit in a European World Cup playoff yet France coach Didier Deschamps believes his team can turn the tide despite a lousy start in their tie against Ukraine.
"It was just the first step. There is a second step," Deschamps told a news conference after Les Bleus slumped to a 2-0 away defeat on Friday.
France had the upper hand at Euro 2012 when they beat hosts Ukraine 2-0 in the group phase, but over a year later the wheel seems to have turned in spectacular fashion.
Ukraine were the most physical side and Deschamps felt it went over the top on occasions.
"We struggled because they put a lot of commitment into the game," he said.
"They committed a lot of fouls, they were very aggressive."
Ukraine coach Mykhailo Fomenko said before the game he had a "recipe" for victory and one of the ingredients was clearly to man-mark Franck Ribery, who was a shadow of his usually brilliant self.
"Obviously he was under great scrutiny," a stunned-looking Deschamps said. Continued...