Dembélé elected Man of the Match

The winger came on in the second half and scored France's first penalty. He recalled the experience gained from the lost final against Argentina in Qatar.

Dembélé elected Man of the Match Embed from Getty Images

Ousmane Dembélé came on in the 67th minute of the Portugal-France match, replacing Griezmann, and was ultimately named the Man of the Match. His introduction injected a fresh burst of energy into the French attack, making a significant impact on the game's outcome.

"The substitute changed the game for France and had the courage to score his penalty. The forward's pace and skill made him a constant threat," wrote UEFA, justifying the award. Dembélé's quick movements and technical abilities posed continuous challenges to the Portuguese defense, contributing decisively to France's performance.

Dembélé himself later spoke about the triumph over Portugal and recalled the penalty shootout defeat against Argentina in the World Cup in Qatar. "We had trained for penalties and felt confident. We learned a lot from our experience in the World Cup in Qatar, where we misread the goalkeeper. We deserved this victory," he stated. The lessons from their previous penalty shootout loss provided valuable insights that helped France in their preparation and execution against Portugal.

Reflecting on the match, Dembélé expressed his satisfaction with the team's effort. "At the end of the day, we are all satisfied with the win. I think it was a good game from both teams. This is how the French national team plays. We play this way; if someone isn't happy, that's not my problem," he remarked. His confidence and assertiveness underscore the team's collective mindset and determination.

Dembélé also highlighted the importance of advancing in the competition. "When you reach this stage of the competition, you want to go all the way. Since 2016, this team has gone far in international competitions, except in 2021, which was difficult. We have built a personality, and we always try to go far," he said. This historical perspective underscores the team's resilience and ambition, demonstrating their consistent performance on the international stage.

The forward acknowledged the challenges posed by tough competitions but emphasized the team's strong foundation. "These are tough competitions. We scored three goals, but here we are in the semifinals. It's the solidity of this team that means we are still here today," Dembélé concluded. His remarks reflect the team's unity and solid structure, which have been crucial to their sustained success.

As France prepares for the next stage, Dembélé's performance and the team's collective efforts provide a strong platform for their continued pursuit of glory. The journey through the tournament has reinforced their capabilities and determination, setting the stage for an exciting semifinal clash.

Updated: 02:59, 6 Jul 2024

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