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Europe, News, Under 19s

Conte Praises France Performance Against Spain As Serbia Await In The Final

Conte (right) celebrates after reaching the European U19 Championship final.

Conte (right) celebrates after reaching the European U19 Championship final.

Antoine Conte has praised the way his France side beat reigning European under 19 champions Spain to propel themselves into Thursday’s final against Serbia.

He cited tactics and communication as the key reasons they triumphed last night against the 2012 and 2011 champions.

Conte popped up during extra-time to grab a winner for Les Petits Bleus to build on Yassine Benzia’s equaliser after they fell behind to Jose Rodriguez’s opener in the first half. Conte told FIFA.com: “It was a very good match. Spain kept the ball very well but we concentrated really hard and took our goals well.

“There was pressure on our defence, they had a lot of the ball but we had the tactics that we’d worked on with our coach. [They] were to not throw men forward, work hard as a unit, close them down and to communicate. We stuck to that and everything worked out well.”

Conte’s goal proved vital and he told of his joy to see the ball hit the net: “When the defender miscontrolled the ball, I collected it and shot,” Conte said. “I didn’t have time to think about it. I’m very happy to have scored the decisive goal.”

France face Serbia in two days time to determine the 2013 European Under 19 Champions. Serbia come into the game fresh off beating Portugal on penalties in their semi-final.

“Serbia are a good team [but] that was a group match to decide first place,” Conte said. “This is a final and it will be a different game although we already know each other.”

“We have to give everything and produce another performance like this,”

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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