France captain Hugo Lloris admitted the world champions were punished for their failure to hold on to a two-goal lead as they lost 5-4 on penalties to Switzerland in the last 16 at Euro 2020.
Didier Deschamps’ team fell behind in Bucharest on Monday but Karim Benzema scored twice before Paul Pogba added a third to leave France seemingly on course for the quarter-finals.
Switzerland fought back as Haris Seferovic netted his second of the game before Mario Gavranovic equalised for 3-3 to force extra time, with Kylian Mbappe missing the only penalty in the shootout.
“It’s painful, even more so after a penalty shootout where it becomes a lottery,” said Lloris.
“The only regret we can have is that at 3-1 we need to manage the match better. We’ve been able to close it out in the past few years.”
“The Swiss got back into it at 3-2 and the goal in the last minute of normal time really hurt us,” he added.
“As France and reigning world champions, to be knocked out in the last 16 is not a good result. Everyone was expecting more, starting with us.”
France had not lost a competitive match since a qualifier against Turkey in June 2019, but finished on the losing side in their first shootout since the 2006 World Cup final against Italy.
“We need time to get over this disappointment,” said Lloris.
“In the second half we came back and turned the game round. The two goals in the final quarter-hour really hurt us.
“We went through all the emotions. That’s part of the game, that’s football. That’s why we love it. When it doesn’t go your way it hurts.”