Lloris, Clichy shift focus to Spain
© AFP

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris admitted to "mixed feelings" after his side qualified for the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals as Group D runners-up.

Les Bleus were beaten 2-0 by already eliminated Sweden in their final group game, their first defeat in 24 matches, meaning England's 1-0 win over Ukraine was enough to pinch top spot. That in turn secured Roy Hodgson's men a last-eight match Italy and left France to face reigning world and European champions and Group C winners Spain.

Lloris said: "I have mixed feelings. We were playing to win but, unfortunately, we could never find the right pass. I think Sweden deserved to win. A positive point is, of course, the fact we have qualified, and we have to bear that in mind. We must remain positive and prepare for what will be a difficult quarter-final, a great match.

"We couldn't find the right solutions, but against Spain it will be completely different. It will be a great test for us, where we will have to show what we can do. We'll have to be there and end that match with as few regrets as possible."

Defender Gael Clichy added: "We wanted to win, but we came up against a very good team with great players. We have to acknowledge that we played poorly.

We couldn't find the right solutions, but against Spain it will be completely different.  
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

"We were a bit tired because of the heat and the fact that some players have taken part in three games in [nine] days, but that goes for every team. We could have done better defensively and be more creative offensively. But there's nothing to worry about.

"The end of our 23-game unbeaten run is not a big deal. It doesn't change what we've achieved over the past two years. It means we now face a quarter-final against Spain, but if you want to win the tournament you have to beat everybody. It's going to be a great game to be involved in."

Sweden midfielder Kim Kallstrom, who plays his club football in France as a team-mate of Lloris at Lyon, took hope from the result and performance ahead of the start of the qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. "We made them play poorly," he said, before quickly adding: "Maybe I should not say 'poorly' but we disarmed them well before they got into our defensive third of the field.

"All in all, it was a good game from our point of view. It was the first time we have managed to win in the tournament, which is a bit frustrating but results don't lie. So we must now pack our bags and go home.

"We need to elaborate on this before the World Cup qualifiers in the autumn. Even if it was a very tough tournament for us in terms of the results, at least we had a very good finish to it."