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France are off to a slow start in Nations League

France held by Croatia in Nations League


The Nations League defense is proving hard for France who are off to a rocky start in the competition.

After being beaten in their first League A Group 1 encounter by Denmark, they were held by Croatia in the second.

A reshuffled French side drew 1-1 away from home as Andrej Kramaric’s late penalty canceled out an Adrian Rabiot opener.

The World Champs were without the services of Kylian Mbappe and a particularly potent Karim Benzema as Didier Deschamps made 10 changes to Friday’s team.

Croatia were the more dangerous side in a lively start before Nkunku was denied a goal for offside as France began to threaten on the break after settling in.

Moussa Diaby came close to scoring for Frane before the break just before Aurelien Tchouameni’s fierce strike was parried away by Dominik Livakovic.

Rabiot broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, collecting a pass from Ben Yedder and firing a low shot past the keeper for his second international goal.

Their celebrations were shortlived as substitute Jonathan Clauss brought down Kramaric in the penalty area and the striker converted the resulting penalty by wrongfooting Mike Maignan in the 83rd minute.

Kramaric threatened again five minutes from time but Maignan pulled a decisive save to salvage a point for France.

France will face Austria in the Nations League next on Friday before hosting Croatia next Monday.

They sit third in their group behind leaders Denmark and second-placed Austria.

Denmark remains perfect in their Nations League campaign as Jens Stryger Larsen’s late winner guided Denmark to a nervy 2-1 win over Austria after kickoff was delayed by 90 minutes due to a power outage in Vienna.

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