France stretched their unbeaten run in opposition to Croatia to eight video games after a late objective by Kylian Mbappe gave the world champions a 2-1 win of their Nations League top-tier Group Three match on Wednesday. The consequence left France second within the group on 10 factors from 4 video games, behind Portugal on objective distinction after the European champions brushed apart Sweden 3-0. Croatia have three factors and the Swedes none.
France beat Croatia 4-2 within the 2018 World Cup closing earlier than defeating them by the identical rating in final month’s reverse Nations League fixture.
“We knew we’d be in a real battle,” France coach Didier Deschamps advised French TF1 tv. “We started very well and it’s a pity we didn’t go two goals clear as Kylian had a big chance. We did what we needed to do in the second half. It’s not because we won a trophy in 2018 that you win by clicking your fingers. You have to look at the way the opponents play too.”
Antoine Griezmann fired France into an eighth-minute lead when he drilled the ball residence off the underside of the bar from 12 metres after Domagoj Vida did not clear a Ferland Mendy cross from the best.
Mbappe missed a gilt-edged alternative to make it 2-Zero as he shot extensive from shut vary with the objective at his mercy, whereas visiting keeper Hugo Lloris saved out Mario Pasalic’s shot from three metres with a reflex save.
Croatia midfielder Nikola Vlasic equalised within the 65th minute, unleashing a elegant shot with the skin of his foot previous Lloris after good work by Luka Modric and Josip Brekalo.
Substitute Paul Pogba missed a sitter for France earlier than the guests secured victory 11 minutes from time. It was a artful three-touch transfer as Pogba discovered Lucas Digne with a protracted move from inside his personal half and the left again volleyed a cross into the penalty space for Mbappe to slip in and steer the ball previous keeper Dominik Livakovic.
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren rued his workforce’s focus lapses. “France are ruthlessly efficient and they will punish you every time you switch off, even for a split second,” he advised reporters. “Playing against them is very frustrating because you can be as entertaining as you like but to no avail. The three points is all that matters.”