In a duel marked by boredom and tactics until the last stretch, Rabiot Y Kramaricwith their goals, broke the boredom and electrified a match that Croatia and France drew (1-1) after the loss of both teams in the first day of the League of Nations against Austria and Denmark, respectively.
In the absence of Mbappé, injured, and Benzema, one of the many variations of Didier Deschamps, the biggest attraction in France was to see Tchouameni, who played 62 minutes before being substituted for Kamara. Against Denmark, the player wanted by Real Madrid, the only one he repeated in the eleven, performed at a good level despite the defeat (1-2). Again, he had another showcase to show that at 22 years old he is ready to play for a big club.
Croatia was a good rival to ponder his fame. The Balkan box is tough, rocky and experienced. In addition, they have not yet been able to avenge the defeat they suffered in the 2018 Russia World Cup final. Since then, both teams have met on two other occasions and always with French victory (4-2 and 1-2 in the League of Nations).
Tchouameni met Luka Modric, honored before the duel for his 150th match with Croatia. Who can be his teacher from the next season, he saw the faces with his possible student. And, on this occasion, the duel ended in a draw for both.
The French midfielder completed a spectacular first half. His numbers at halftime were 41/42 passes completed, 5/6 field duels won, 4 recoveries and only 5 losses. Excellent both in the ball exit and in the coverage, he lacked his shyness to let loose in attack.
France, without Mbappé, Benzema and Griezmann, was another team. Your “b unit” is less electric and less vertical. For this reason, in the first half he barely enjoyed three chances: a long shot from Tchouameni that Livakovic cleared without much trouble, a heads-up from Diaby that was also saved by the Croatian goalkeeper and a goal by Nkunku disallowed for offside.
That was all the offensive baggage of France. At the very least, she could boast of neutralizing Croatia, who only had one chance at the boots of Budimir, who met a defender’s body with a shot from inside the area. Dalic’s team, like France, also played with many new faces.
Six names dropped out of the lineup after the defeat against Austria: Ivsic, Caleta-Car, Pongracic, Sosa, Pasalic and Kramaric. And, the changes, at least in the first 45 minutes, did not improve Croatia too much either, which in the second half took a stick a few minutes after the restart. Ben Yedder rubbed his magic lamp with a great assist for Rabiot, and the Juventus player finished with class against Livakovic to make it 0-1.
Croatia, with a goal against, had no choice but to wake up from their lethargy. At least try it. With Pasalic, Kramaric and Orsic on the pitch, he went on to dominate the game, although he still received a scare from Griezmann, who missed a heads-up against Livakovic.
Then, the Balkan team took the prize for the goal. After a Modric left-footed shot saved by Maignan, Kramaric converted a Clauss penalty, which brought down the Croatian striker within seconds of entering the pitch.
Clauss’ recklessness balanced the scales and Croatia went for the win. The boredom that numbed the Hadjuk Split stadium audience for 80 minutes faded into the background and during the last quarter of an hour the duel was electrified.
At that time, Griezmann, in the midst of the Croatian attempts, was able to give victory to France after a defensive error that the French striker did not take advantage of. And, on the other side, Croatia, although he died near the goal defended by Maignan, did not enjoy a great opportunity again. In the end, 1-1, was the fairest result for a duel, in general, tedious.
Croatia, 1: Livakovic, Juranovic, Erlic, Vida, Barisic; Modric (Sucic, m. 79), Brozovic, Kovacic (Vlasic, m. 79); Majer (Pasalic, d. 63), Budimir (Kramaric, d. 69) and Brekalo (Orsic, d. 63)
France, 1: Maignan; Pavard, Saliba, Kimpembe, Digne; Guendouzi, Tchouameni (Kamara, d. 62); Diaby (Clauss, d. 79), Nkunku, Rabiot; and Ben Yedder (Griezmann, m. 62).
Goals: 0-1, m. 52: Rabiot; 1-1, m. 83: Kramaric, from a penalty.
Referee: Marco Guida (Italy). He showed yellow card to Vida (m. 21) for Croatia and Kimpembe (m. 85) for France.
Incidents: match corresponding to the second day of Group 1 of the League of Nations played at the Stadion Pljud in Split (Croatia).