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France hit new low as Croatia snatch narrow win

UEFA Nations League: France hit new low as Croatia snatch narrow win

June 13, 2022 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
Les Bleus are having a campaign to forget with their winning drought in the competition dragging on.

France have failed in their bid to defend their UEFA Nations League title after suffering another defeat in Monday night's UEFA Nations League clash with Croatia. Les Bleus were condemned to a disappointing 1-0 loss inside Stade de France as their search for a first win in the competition continued. 

Tipped among the favorites to potentially make another last-four appearance, France have struggled to impress. After losing to Denmark and securing successive 1-1 draws against Croatia and Austria in the first round, Didier Deschamps' side aimed to secure its first win of the campaign when they welcomed Zlatko Dalić's men to their backyard for a reverse clash.

However, the task to get back on course was complicated after Ibrahima Konate fouled Ante Budimir in the French penalty area inside the first four minutes. A quick review by the Video Assistant Referee confirmed the validity of the call and Luka Modric subsequently stepped up to convert from the penalty spot to hand Croatia the lead. Even with Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Christopher Nkunku all starring in the attack, the hosts could not fashion an adequate response, as the visitors secured their first-ever win against the current Nation League title holders.

Speaking after the game, head coach of the French side Didier Deschamps attributed his side's poor run to the long season the players have had. 

"It was a difficult month of June in terms of results. We did not have the energy and the strength against teams who had more than us," he said.

"We lost a bit of self-confidence along the way but it's mostly freshness that we lacked. When you play so many games it is very very hard."

France are bottom of Group A1 on two points from four games. In contrast, Denmark sit atop on nine points - two points above Croatia - following a 2-0 win over Austria. The last set of matches will be played in September with France hoping to avoid relegation to League B.

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