BUCHAREST (Reuters) - France coach Didier Deschamps said his team had shown weakness after the world champions threw away a two-goal lead and were eliminated from Euro 2020 after a penalty shootout loss to Switzerland in the last 16 on Monday.
Having trailed 1-0 at the break, France got a reprieve when the Swiss missed a penalty and Deschamps' side then roared into a 3-1 lead with two goals from Karim Benzema and a wonderful strike from Paul Pogba.
But two late goals from Switzerland took the game into extra time and then penalties which ended in defeat after Kylian Mbappe failed with the final spot-kick.
“We did what we needed to in order to go 3-1 up and then we showed weakness, something unusual for us. Losing on penalties is always cruel for a team," Deschamps told TF1.
"Kylian Mbappe is incredibly sad, as are all the players, but nobody can be upset with him as he took on the responsibility of taking the fifth penalty," he added.
Captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said the team had lacked the ruthless edge they had shown in the past.
"We’re not looking for excuses. The regret, if we can have one, is that we led 3-1. In recent years we have known how to shut up shop," he said.
"We went through every emotion possible and honestly that was football the way we like it. The two goals we conceded in the last quarter of an hour really hurt us."
France defender Raphael Varane acknowledged the team's poor spells of play in the game.
“It’s hugely disappointing. We completely messed up our first half. We reacted in the second half but then left them space and they came back," he said.
“Penalties are a lottery. We could have scored in extra time as we had the chances to do that."
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)