A revamped France drew 1-1 with Croatia in their second Nations League game on Monday, four days after a first loss to Denmark.
France took the lead thanks to Adrien Rabiot’s goal early in the second half, but Andrej Kramaric’s late penalty after VAR interference gave the hosts a deserved draw.
World champions France, who lost 2-1 at home to Denmark in their opener, were without Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema at the start as coach Didier Deschamps made 10 changes in the squad. Friday team.
Deschamps was back on the bench after missing Friday’s game against Denmark following the death of his father.
“We did some good things considering all the changes. We were ahead and we could have scored more but it’s a shame we gave them the equalizer,” said Deschamps, who insisted the he objective of France was to prepare for the World Cup.
“It was a consistent performance though. They barely threatened in the second half.
“The result is not satisfactory and even if it is a competitive match, our objective is to prepare (the World Cup at) the end of the year.”
Croatia were the most dangerous in a spirited start before Christopher Nkunku was disallowed a goal for offside as France began to threaten at the break around the half-hour mark.
The Blues put pressure on the Croatian left flank and Moussa Diaby closed in before the break just before Aurelien Tchouameni’s ferocious strike was parried by Dominik Livakovic.
France were rewarded for their good intentions in the 52nd minute when Rabiot collected a through ball from Wissam Ben Yedder and found the back of the net with a low shot for his second international goal.
But substitute Jonathan Clauss knocked Kramaric down in the box and the striker converted the resulting penalty by off-footing Mike Maignan in the 83rd minute.
Kramaric threatened again five minutes from time but Maignan made a decisive save to save a point.
The winner of the end of Denmark sinks Austria
The winner of Jens Stryger Larsen guided Denmark to a nervous 2-1 victory Austria in their Nations League group game on Monday after kick-off was delayed 90 minutes due to a power outage in Vienna.
The match finally kicked off at 10:15 p.m. local time after power was restored.
After a cautious start, Denmark took the lead in the 27th minute when midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg started the move with a pass down the right flank and sprinted into the box to get into the receiving side of the Rasmus Kristensen crosses to score.
But Ralf Rangnick’s Austria were dominant after the restart and their persistence with the high pressure finally paid off when the home side snatched the ball away from goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the Denmark box before Xaver Schlager equalized.
Marko Arnautovic, playing his 100th game for Austria, hit the post after rounding Schmeichel and Denmark made it pay in the 84th minute when Larsen curled a shot past the keeper to grab the winner, scored on the spot from midnight.
The result put Denmark top of Group A1 with six points from two games while Austria are second after France’s draw.
Elsewhere, it was a historic night for Kazakhstan as they held on for a rare away win in Slovakiawinning 1-0 as they finished scoreless between Belarus and 10 men Azerbaijan. In Reykjavík, Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s second-half goal saw Iceland fight for a point against Albania in a 1-1 draw and Latvia to beat Liechtenstein 1-0.