Reshuffled champs France held in Croatia

·2-min read

A reshuffled French team have drawn 1-1 away to Croatia in their second Nations League game, four days after suffering an opening Group A1 defeat to Denmark.

The defending champions, featuring 10 changes to Friday's team, went ahead in front of a sold-out 30,000 crowd in Split through Adrien Rabiot's 52nd-minute goal.

But Andrej Kramaric's late penalty gave the hosts a deserved point in a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final won 4-2 by France in Moscow.

Croatia have failed to beat Les Bleus in their nine encounters, adding a third draw on Monday in what was a milestone match for captain Luka Modric.

"It was a phenomenal feeling, I am happy and proud of my 150th match for Croatia," Real Madrid midfielder Modric said.

France coach Didier Deschamps was back on the bench after he missed the 2-1 loss to Denmark following the death of his father.

"The result is not satisfying and even if it's a competitive game our goal is to prepare for (the World Cup at) the end of the year," Deschamps, who insisted France's aim was to gear up for the finals in Qatar, said.

Denmark went top of the group after a late Jens Stryger Larsen goal guided them to a nervy 2-1 win over Austria.

In a clash at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna which was delayed by 90 minutes due to a power failure, the visitors took the lead in the 27th minute through Rasmus Kristensen.

Xaver Schlager fired home the equaliser before Larsen curled in the winner with six minutes remaining.

The Danes have six points from two games, Austria (3) are second, with France and Croatia both on one point.

In Group B2, Iceland salvaged a 1-1 draw against Albania in Reykjavik to lead the three-nation group with two points after drawing with Israel 2-2 in their opening game. Israel and Albania have one point each. Russia were suspended following the invasion of Ukraine.

Kazakhstan took a three-point lead in Group C3 after a 1-0 away victory at Slovakia (3), who are second, while Belarus drew 0-0 with Azerbaijan to earn their first points.

Latvia made it two wins from two in Group D1 after beating Liechtenstein 1-0 while Andorra and Moldova played out a 0-0 draw.

With AP.

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