Theo Collomb’s strike on 70 minutes settled the tie in favour of the home side who repelled a number of Irish chances in the second half.
The first half was limited to very few opportunities of a goal as the French sat deep and choked the Irish possession in the final third. Aaron Dobbs did force an opening but could not steer his right-footed effort inside the post.
Despite a flurry of changes in the opening quarter of the second half, Ireland did start the brighter and David Hurley was unlucky to see his header loop on top of the French net. However, it was France who took the initiative within the game with 20 minutes remaining when Antoine Fischer blocked down Joe Manley’s attempted pass forward into the path of Teiva Blanchet who slid the ball across to Collomb who coolly finished past Paul Martin.
Ireland did push for an equaliser in the last quarter with Alan O’Sullivan stinging the gloves of Tanguy Seznec with Antoine Lizard’s outstretched leg preventing Simon Falvey from poking home the rebound. Sean McSweeney also dragged his shot wide of the post from 10 yards out.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Greg Yelverton couldn’t fault his side’s performance during the game but was disappointed that they could not convert their chances. He said “I thought the boys’ possession-based football was good to watch, we kept it a lot, but the chances we created we didn’t really take. The French have a style of play that we are well used to that makes them hard to break down which taught our guys a lot, but overall the performance was good and we’re quite pleased with that.”
Focus will now centre upon the opening game of the 2019 Summer Universiade which takes place on July 5th when Team Ireland face South Korea in Casoria.
Republic of Ireland: Coffey (Martin 65), Walker (Hollywood 55), Slevin (Walsh 63), Manley, Young (Noack-Hofmann 55), Phillips, Kelly, Hurley, Scott (Falvey 63), Duffy (McSweeney HT), Dobbs (O’Sullivan HT)
France: Printant (Seznec HT), Couteau (Liard HT), Tourtelot (Daniel HT), Corneillie (Ozee HT), Roux (Pinol HT), Valerio (Fischer HT), Craman (Blanchet HT), Boumejjane (Collomb HT), Clement-Triaut (Peyrat HT), Cicutta, Mayer.