Croatia 1-2 France: Kylian Mbappe nets winner 11 minutes from time after Antoine Griezmann’s opener was cancelled out by Nikola Vlasic as world champions go joint-top of Nations League Group Three with Portugal
- France have gone joint-top of their Nations League group with Portugal
- Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring for the French with a superb finish
- Croatia equalised through Vlasic as he stabbed the ball home in second half
- However, Kylian Mbappe restored the lead with 11 minutes of normal time left
France stretched their unbeaten run against Croatia to eight games after a late goal by Kylian Mbappe gave the world champions a 2-1 win in their Nations League top-tier Group 3 match on Wednesday.
The result left France second in the group on 10 points from four games, behind Portugal on goal difference after the European champions brushed aside Sweden 3-0. Croatia have three points and the Swedes none.
Antoine Griezmann fired France into an eighth-minute lead when he drilled the ball home off the underside of the bar from 12 metres after Domagoj Vida failed to clear a Ferland Mendy cross from the right.
Kylian Mbappe (right) and Antoine Griezmann were both on the scoresheet for France
CROATIA: (4-2-3-1) Livakovic; Uremovic, Lovren, Vida, Barisic; Badelj (Kovacic 46), Modric; Pasalic (Brekalo 46), Vlasic (Kramaric 80), Perisic (Bradaric 78); Petkovic
SUBS NOT USED: Grbic (GK), Sluga (GK); Budimir, Caleta-Car, Colak, Kovacic, Melnjak, Orsic, Rog
GOALS: Vlasic (65)
BOOKINGS: Vlasic (5), Uremovic (57), Lovren (90+2)
COACH: Zlatko Dalic
FRANCE: (4-3-1-2) Lloris; Mendy, Varane, Lenglet, Digne (L. Hernandez 83); Tolisso (Camavinga 63), N’Zonzi, Rabiot (Pogba 74); Griezmann (Giroud 83); Mbappe, Martial (Coman 63)
SUBS NOT USED: Maignan (GK), Mandanda (GK); Aouar, Ben Yedder, Kimpembe, Pavard, Zouma
GOALS: Griezmann (8), Mbappe (79)
BOOKINGS: Digne (4), Pogba (90+1)
COACH: Didier Deschamps
REFEREE: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)
MAN OF THE MATCH: TBA
VENUE: Stadion Maksimir (Zagreb)
Croatia midfielder Nikola Vlasic equalised in the 65th, unleashing a sublime shot with the outside of his foot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after good work by Luka Modric and Josip Brekalo.
Substitute Paul Pogba missed a sitter for France, who beat Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 World Cup final and defeated them by the same score in the reverse Nations League fixture last month, before the visitors secured victory 11 minutes from time.
It was a crafty three-touch move as Pogba found Lucas Digne with a long pass from inside his own half and the left back volleyed a cross into the penalty area for Mbappe to slide in and steer the ball past keeper Dominik Livakovic.
Griezmann celebrates breaking the deadlock in the Nation League clash with Croatia
The forward smashed a shot past keeper Dominik Livakovic inside the opening eight minutes
Griezmann’s shot clipped the under-side of the crossbar before nestling into the net
Nikola Vlasic (middle) prodded home inside a crowded area to equalise for the hosts
His Croatian team-mates congratulate him after he cleverly finished in the second half
However, Mbappe was the difference as the PSG superstar scored the winner late on
Mbappe was in the right place at the right time to turn in Lucas Digne’s cross
The forward runs to celebrate with Digne after the two linked up for France’s second
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