Croatia 1-1 France: Kramaric penalty denies Les Bleus victory in Nations League encounter

By Sports Desk June 06, 2022

Andrej Kramaric's VAR-assisted penalty snatched a late 1-1 draw for Croatia against France to deny Les Bleus a first win of the new Nations League campaign.

Adrien Rabiot's strike shortly after the break looked to have fired the visitors to victory in Group A1, in what was a rematch of the Russia 2018 World Cup final won by France.

But the hosts were able to take a share of the spoils in Split with the aid of VAR. Referee Marco Guida's decision to award a penalty for Jonathan Clauss' clumsy challenge on Kramaric was initially kiboshed by the linesman's flag but a review showed Luka Sucic had been onside when receiving Mislav Orsic's pass in the build-up.

Kramaric duly converted with seven minutes remaining at Stadion Poljud to inject a degree of late drama into a game otherwise marked by cagey performances, particularly across a first half that had struggled to burst into life.

Having slipped to an opening loss in their title defence against Demark on Friday, Didier Deschamps rung the changes for this clash, with all but one face swapped out.

With fearsome talents like Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema benched, though, it took until after the interval for the deadlock to be broken.

Seizing onto a terrific ball from Wissam Ben Yedder, midfielder Rabiot steered a superb finish above Dominik Livakovic and into the top-left corner.

That had looked to possibly be enough for the visitors, even as Luka Modric - on his 150th appearance for his country - had helped push for an equaliser.

Kramaric's late intervention, however, proved a return blow, and the two sides ultimately were forced to settle for a point.

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