June 24, 2018 / 11:20 AM / 6 months ago

France's Tolisso understands Australia performance cost him starting spot

ISTRA, Russia (Reuters) - Midfielder Corentin Tolisso admitted he under-performed in France’s opening victory against Australia and was not surprised to be benched for their second Group C game at the World Cup.

Soccer Football - World Cup - France Training - France Training Camp, Moscow, Russia - June 22, 2018 France's Corentin Tolisso during training REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Tolisso, whose performances in warm-up games and with Bayern Munich earned him a spot in the starting 11 at the expense of Blaise Matuidi, made too many errors in France’s 2-1 win against the Socceroos.

Matuidi came in for the second match, a 1-0 victory against Peru, as France showed better coordination in midfield and pressed their opponents more efficiently.

“I wasn’t surprised to start on the bench against Peru,” Tolisso told a news conference on Sunday, two days before France take on Denmark in their final group game.

France have already qualified for the last 16 and they will top Group C if they avoid defeat in Moscow.

“I saw my performance against Australia and the fact that Blaise got to play after that is totally understandable,” Tolisso added.

“If he had played like I have played I would have hoped to start the following game.”

France have yet to impress but they are the only pre-tournament favourites with a perfect record.

“Everybody would like us to put on a show every time but the truth is all the teams are hard to beat,” he said.

“We’d love to win every match 5-0 but to be honest, 1-0 is the same, it’s three points.”

Writing by Julien Pretot; editing by Pritha Sarkar

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