The honeymoon is well and truly over between Thierry Henry and Les Bleuets. After four victories since his arrival in August, including a 9-0 win over Cyprus, the new coach of Les Espoirs is now experiencing defeat. After Friday's defeat in Austria (2-0) on the fourth day of Euro 2025 qualifying, Les Bleuets suffered a heavy defeat on Monday night against South Korea 3-0 in Le Havre in a friendly match.

Thierry Henry didn't beat around the bush after the game by calling it a "horrible result". Lucid at the microphone of the channel L'Equipe having failed to find the key at the Océane stadium in Le Havre, he then explained this new disappointment in the heat of the moment: "There is something in football that is called being realistic, when you create so many chances and you don't put it in the back of the net, you give the possibility to the opposing team to punish you."

"We can't afford to concede goals like that. The 2nd and 3rd are quite comical. [...] we give goals, we have to be realistic"Thierry Henry's first reaction after the defeat to South Korea#FRACDS

— L'Équipe (@lachainelequipe) November 20, 2023

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Because it was the French who dominated. A shot from Mathys Tel (21′), a header from Lesley Ugochukwu (23′), a curling effort from Bradley Barcola (27′) and a powerful shot from Monegasque Maghnes Akliouche (43′) almost hit the target. Akliouche, arguably the best Frenchman of the game, then thought he had provided an assist shortly before the break, but Arnaud Kalimuendo's half-volley hit the crossbar.

Video gag and goals caps

Les Bleuets continued to push in the second half, with Isaak Touré's powerful header from a corner finding the Korean goalkeeper (64'). But as Henry said, dominating is not winning and South Korea opened the scoring with a superb free-kick through Sang-bin Jeong (70'). Then, taking advantage of two misunderstandings in the French defence and a game of billiards, the South Koreans added to the score (79', 90'+4).

"We can't afford to concede goals like that. The second and third are pretty comical," Henry lamented. "Once again we conceded goals, even if the free-kick is still beautiful, the other two goals were avoidable." It was a match to forget for goalkeeper Guillaume Restes, who had the captain's armband. "Now we're going to have to recover, get through the year, and we'll be able to start with the under-23 group" that will compete at the Paris Olympics, Henry concluded.

  • Football
  • Sport
  • Team of France Espoirs
  • Thierry Henry