Slovakia 0-1 France Thierry Henry's quickly-taken free-kick earned visitors France a deserved victory against Slovakia in Trnava.
Slovakia 0-1 France
The FC Barcelona striker caught the sleeping Slovakians on the hop in the 39th minute as Les Bleus warmed up for their crunch UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifiers against Italy and Scotland next month with a convincing display. The assured French controlled possession for the most part and had chances aplenty to add to their lead, with Slovakia very much second best.
With Nicolas Anelka partnering Henry up front and Florent Malouda and Franck Ribéry providing the width, France coach Raymond Domenech deployed an attacking starting line-up. It paid dividends, with Anelka and Henry ubiquitous in the first half and the former Arsenal FC duo combining in the 24th minute for the latter to shoot wide from 18 metres.
Henry should have again opened the scoring when he was set free by Patrick Vieira in the 34th minute but the 30-year-old rounded the goalkeeper only to screw his shot across goal. He made amends five minutes later though when his quickly-taken 25-metre free-kick - which took the slightest of deflections - found the right-hand corner.
Marek Čech and Róbert Vittek had first-half chances for the hosts, who were more dangerous at the start of the second period. Marek Sapara and Filip Hološko also brought smart saves out of Mickaël Landreau as France struggled to get going again but the visitors soon recovered their poise and, on the hour, Malouda's control let him down when one on one with goalkeeper Štefan Senecký.
Anelka and Ribéry had further opportunities before centre-half Philippe Mexes shook the Slovakia bar with a close-range header. Debutant Bacary Sagna then headed a gilt-edged chance wide as France somehow failed to extend their lead.