Croatia holds world champion France to a 1-1 draw in Nations League
CHENNAI: Defending champion France has one point from two Nations League games after being held by Croatia in Split.
Didier Deschamps made 10 changes from the side which threw away a lead to lose 2-1 to Denmark on Friday. It looked on course for victory when Adrien Rabiot’s cool finish from Wissam Ben Yedder’s ball gave it the lead.
But Andrej Kramaric scored a fine penalty after the video assistant referee awarded him a spot-kick following a foul by Jonathan Clauss.
Denmark now tops the group on six points after winning 2-1 in Austria.
France now faces an uphill battle to reach next year’s Nations League finals after throwing away two leads in five days.
Croatia had chances to win the game but West Ham’s Nikola Vlasic was denied by goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who was making his competitive debut, and Luka Sucic dragged a shot wide.
France handed first competitive starts to Arsenal pair Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba and RB Leipzig’s sought-after frontman Christopher Nkunku.
New Aston Villa signing Boubacar Kamara came on for his France debut in the second half.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won his 150th cap for Croatia.
Power outage causes delay in Vienna
Denmark overcame Austria in the other game in Group A1 in a game delayed for 90 minutes because of a power failure. Power went in Vienna’s second district before kick-off, causing the long delay, with fans using their phones to shine some light at the Ernst Happel Stadion.
When the game eventually started, a late Danish strike took them top of the group.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg swept the Danes into the lead before Xaver Schlager took advantage of some poor defending to level.
Denmark’s Christian Eriksen and Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic hit the post as both sides pushed for a winner.
With six minutes left Eriksen found Jens Stryger Larsen, who curled a stunning finish into the top corner.
It was a first defeat for Austria’s former Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick, whose side won 3-0 in Croatia in his first game in charge.
Results: Croatia 1 (Kramaric 83 – pen) drew with France 1 (Rabiot 52); Austria 1 (Schlager) lost to Denmark 2 (Hojbjerg, Larsen)