Deschamps: We tried until the end
France coach Didier Deschamps said his squad did everything possible to equalise but came up short on Friday in losing 1-0 to Germany in their World Cup quarterfinal.
Germany did not give France many chances to impose the kind of attacking game that made Les Bleus one of the more exciting lineups during the group stage. Karim Benzema could have sent the game into extra time with an opportunity in stoppage time, but Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer swatted the angled shot away.
"We tried everything right until the end with an opportunity to Karim Benzema but Neuer did the job," Deschamps said.
Benzema had a greater number of chances but failed to make the most of any of them. He volleyed his first sight of goal wide and that set the tone for the rest of his game. He chose the wrong option with his final shot of the game and was comfortably denied.
"Germany is accustomed to these big matches," Benzema said. "They are a more experienced team and we were a little timid in the beginning of the match. We were not efficient.
"Maybe toward the end of the game, we were too exposed, but all in all, when you look at what Germany stands for and where we come from, we are frustrated. There is a massive gap between the two teams, but today we had a good game and played at a very high level."
With Germany's defence excellently marshalled by Mats Hummels, France needed Benzema to stretch the back four to open up space, but having been handed back a central role after being shifted out wide -- previously to accommodate Olivier Giroud -- he seemed reluctant to run the channels.
Benzema relied heavily on the service to make an impact, and there were few times he was put in a position to test Neuer. He even started to have the opposite effect when he took a chance off the toes of Mathieu Valbuena.
"We weren't efficient on offense," Valbuena told beIN. "It's hard. We were doing magnificent things up until now and it's a pity to stop such a good streak. We gave everything but it wasn't enough."
France impressed in Brazil by scoring eight goals in their first two matches, but more importantly, they also avoided the embarrassing scenes of discontent in the squad that marred their previous World Cup in South Africa.
"I'm quite proud of what we've achieved so far, on the pitch as well as what's been going on behind the scenes," Deschamps said. "It's promising and we will have to keep up the momentum. I'm hurt and disappointed, but there have been a lot of positive things that have happened with this team and this is what I want to remember.
"We played in a quarterfinal, so it's a good memory to take with us. We've had some interesting matches. Playing at 1 p.m., I don't think we like it less or more than the Germans. It is the same for both teams. Both teams had to adjust to the situation."
Deschamps said he felt Germany had a chance to win the World Cup.
"You need quality and luck as well," Deschamps said. "This German team were one of the favorites and there is no surprise. These type of players are accustomed to these big matches and this high level competition.
"Sometimes you need a little luck on your side. I don't think there was a huge gap, there was very little difference between the teams."