France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has said Les Bleus' 2-0 UEFA Nations League defeat to the Netherlands on Friday could have been even "more flattering" to the hosts, who now sit only a point behind them in Group A1.
Didier Deschamps men needed one point away at De Kuip in Rotterdam to secure their place in the competition's finals. However, they'll now miss out on a spot in the semis if the Dutch beat or draw against bottom-placed Germany on Monday.
Lloris lamented his side's display, per FourFourTwo:
"We played to the minimum of our potential and paid for it. The score could have been even more flattering for the Dutch.
“We have to hope that the Germans beat them on Monday.
"We knew what to expect, we knew the level of the Netherlands, they had demonstrated it against Germany and Belgium in October and they turned in a great performance.
"We did not live up to it. It's disappointing, now we no longer have our destiny in our hands."
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum netted the opener before Lyon's Memphis Depay confidently converted from the penalty spot to give the Netherlands a deserved three points.
Lloris was a large factor in why France were able to keep the deficit down to only two goals, having broken a French goalkeeping record despite the defeat, per OptaJean:
Tottenham Hotspur's star won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with his national team in the summer but has shown some flagging form in the months since.
Nevertheless, the BBC's John Bennett backed up the statistics and lauded Lloris' performance:
Friday's result left the Netherlands just one point behind Group A1 leaders France, who have played all their matches. A win would take them into first, but a draw would also be sufficient to advance after the 2-0 victory gave De Oranje a superior goal difference over Les Bleus.
It would represent a dramatic swing in the international power scales if the Netherlands were to suddenly tip the balance in their favour and advance to the finals after 2014 world champions Germany were relegated to League B, per Fox Sports:
Lloris was not present in the France squad that drew 0-0 at Germany in their Nations League debut in September, but he and his team-mates will now rally behind Die Mannschaft if they want to make the finals.
France may be the defending world champions, but the Netherlands have earned results by refusing to show their group opponents respect and will hope to continue their form at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Monday.
It's a plan that's worked to good effect of late, but France will hope Germany are capable of giving them a goodbye present by beating the Dutch before they make the drop down to Nations League B.