An extremely tough Group D, which also included Nigeria, Haiti, and Japan, almost proved too much for France at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. Les Bleuets went down 2-1 to Nigeria in their opener, drew 1-1 with Haiti in their second fixture before coming from a goal down to beat Japan 2-1 and secure their late passage.
Upon his arrival in Changwon for side's last-16 clash with Tunisia, the first thing Mehamha did was to inspect the stadium and its facilities, starting with the locker room. As his team-mates took in the wonderful features, the captain then strode alone across the green turf, where he shared his thoughts with FIFA.com.
Said, first can you tell us how it feels to have got past
the group stage?
The most difficult moment was when we lost to Nigeria in the first match. We were doing our best to try and win, but organisationally we weren't right. But we always gave our best and were able to defeat Japan. Just as we expected, this turned out to be a very difficult group.
How did it feel when you scored the equaliser
I was really happy, especially as I'd missed a penalty against Haiti.
What is the mood like now in the squad?
Excellent. We're all united and that creates a good atmosphere. We just try to do our best in every game take it one step at a time.
As aLyonplayer, do you find it difficult working with players from
Not at all. We're used to each other because we've been together for a long time. We work together like a family on the pitch.
Is that due to the leadership style of Francois Blaquart,
andwhat do the players think of him?
We try to play exactly as he tells us, which is important. We always listen closely and concentrate on what he says, because we want to be able to demonstrate our ability on the pitch.
How are you preparing for your Round-of-16 tie
Everyone is concentrating on training. We've done a lot of shooting practice and are preparing strategies as well. We're going to stay focused and keep working to the very end in order to get a good outcome.
What is your personal objective for this match?
My objective is to play well for my team and have a good match. I don't know how it will finish, but I'm going to give everything I have for France.