We were waiting for a reaction, we got a penalty. To a new disillusionment. Three days after its defeat (0-2) in Austria during a qualifying match for Euro 2025 of the category, the team of France of the Espoirs lost heavily (0-3), Monday in Le Havre in front of 7127 spectators, against the under-23s of South Korea.
A defeat, in their last outing in 2023, without any real consequence since it was a friendly match. But after the festival, the recital against Cyprus (9-0) in mid-October, this result is another false note that looks bad and worrying a few months before the Paris Games.
While this France team is full of many offensive talents within it, it has remained silent for the second time. However, Thierry Henry's players dominated the match, multiplying chances through Parisian Bradley Barcola (27', 52', 53'), Rennes' Arnaud Kalimuendo (who hit the bar in the 45') and Lens' Elye Wahi (73'). In vain. At the other end, the Koreans took advantage of defensive errors - and in particular of Toulouse's young goalkeeper Guillaume Reste (18 years old), who was at fault for two goals, the last of which was after a risky run - to punish.
"We can't afford to concede goals like that, the 2nd and 3rd are quite comical," Thierry Henry told L'Equipe. There's no need to foul the free-kick (on the first goal) and the last one doesn't need commentary. In football you have to be realistic, when you create so many chances but you don't put it in the back of the net, you give the opposing team the opportunity to punish you. Once again, we conceded these goals even if the free-kick was beautiful, the others were avoidable, inexplicable. We're learning... »
A nightmare evening for Guillaume Restes! The Toulouse player was at fault for the 3rd Korean goal.
The France lost 3-0 to South Korea in a friendly match #FRACDS pic.twitter.com/xF26okN38k
— L'Équipe (@lachainelequipe) November 20, 2023
"It's a defeat that hurts us," confirms Rayan Cherki. It's disappointing both defensively and offensively, we're going to have to question ourselves. We have enough games to avoid this kind of defeat and these goals. We have to play with more desire and aggression to win matches. »
However, the coach of Les Bleuets noted a slight "improvement" compared to the defeat in Austria. "In terms of desire and fighting spirit, we were better, but the result is horrible. We created chances, that's the most important thing, then we had one-on-ones, we hit the bar, what happened in Austria is much more worrying. We have to recover, get through the year. A lesson to be learned a few months before the Paris Games where France will seek a medal.