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Battling Croatia rattle holders France

Published: Friday 18 June 2004, 0.59CET
Croatia 2-2 France
Two Croatian goals in four second-half minutes unsettled France in a pulsating Group B encounter.
by Mark Chaplin
from Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa
Battling Croatia rattle holders France
Milan Rapaić (No7) celebrates his goal against France with team-mates ©Getty Images

Match statistics

CroatiaFrance

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target4
 
6
Attempts off target3
 
5
Corners2
 
9
Fouls committed20
 
14
Yellow cards4
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:58 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Friday 18 June 2004, 0.59CET

Battling Croatia rattle holders France

Croatia 2-2 France
Two Croatian goals in four second-half minutes unsettled France in a pulsating Group B encounter.

Holders France shared four goals with Croatia in a pulsating UEFA EURO 2004 Group B encounter in Leiria.

Les Bleus led at half-time through an Igor Tudor own goal and were full value for their advantage. But two goals in four minutes after the interval – a Milan Rapaić penalty and Dado Pršo's superb volley – brought a tremendous Croatia fightback before David Trezeguet's strike after the hour earned France a point.

Croatia made three changes from the side held 0-0 by Switzerland in their opening game; Tudor, Rapaić and Giovanni Rosso coming into the side. France, meanwhile, introduced Marcel Desailly, Sylvain Wiltord and Olivier Dacourt following Sunday's incredible last-gasp success against England.

Thierry Henry was a livewire prospect in the opening stages as France dominated possession, and the Arsenal FC striker shot wide with the game's first chance on six minutes. Zinédine Zidane then saw a free-kick blocked by the wall and Wiltord blasted wide as Les Bleus kept up the momentum. It took Croatia 15 minutes to get a sight of goal, but Tomislav Šokota's weak shot posed no problem for Fabien Barthez.

A period of Croatia promise followed as the Balkan side settled down after a nervy start, but France grabbed a deserved lead on 22 minutes. Zidane curled in a left-wing free-kick and the ball deflected in off Tudor for an unfortunate own goal.

Zidane flashed a shot wide from a similar position before Rosso drove over the bar from 20 metres as Croatia sought to respond. Nevertheless, France, and Zidane in particular, were running the show in midfield, and it took two defenders to desperately deny Wiltord in a goalmouth skirmish.

Patrick Vieira was booked for tripping Niko Kovač after 32 minutes, and Croatia central defender Tudor was cautioned for a clumsy challenge on Vieira as he burst towards goal. William Gallas then headed just wide as the French ran the show up to the interval.

The second half began in sensational fashion with two Croatia goals inside the first seven minutes, Otto Barić's team turning the match on its head. Mikaël Silvestre, who had conceded a penalty against England, was adjudged to have tripped Rosso in the 48th minute and Rapaić levelled with an unstoppable spot kick.

Soon Croatia were in front, as Pršo bustled into the area and punished some flimsy defending by hammering a fierce left-foot drive past Barthez. France, so comfortable in the first half, were rocked, but soon recovered their poise and goalkeeper Tomislav Butina got down smartly to deny Henry. France hauled themselves level on 64 minutes as a Tudor back pass fell short, Butina's clearance rebounded off the onrushing Trezeguet, and the Juventus striker rolled the ball into the empty net with an angled finish.

A pulsating second half ebbed and flowed, and France began to take control again as the final stages approached, but Croatia defended stoutly and looked to pounce on the counterattack. Butina was forced into diving stops from substitute Robert Pirès and Henry in the closing stages but it was Croatia who came closest to taking maximum points, replacement Ivica Mornar shooting agonisingly over from close range in added time.

Last updated: 16/01/12 12.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1581/match=1059175/postmatch/report/index.html#croatia+rattle+holders+france

Lineups

Croatia

Croatia

France

France

12
ButinaTomislav Butina (GK)
16
BarthezFabien Barthez (GK)
3
ŠimunićJosip Šimunić
4
VieiraPatrick Vieira
Yellow Card32
5
TudorIgor Tudor
Goal22
Yellow Card39
5
GallasWilliam Gallas
Substitution81
7
RapaićMilan Rapaić
Goal48
Substitution87
8
DesaillyMarcel Desailly (C)
9
PršoDado Pršo
Goal52
10
ZidaneZinédine Zidane
10
N.KovačNiko Kovač
11
WiltordSylvain Wiltord
Substitution70
11
ŠokotaTomo Šokota
Substitution73
12
HenryThierry Henry
13
ŠimićDario Šimić (C)
13
SilvestreMikaël Silvestre
20
RossoGiovanni Rosso
Yellow Card61
15
ThuramLilian Thuram
21
R.KovačRobert Kovač
Yellow Card64
17
DacourtOlivier Dacourt
Yellow Card60
Substitution79
22
BjelicaNenad Bjelica
Substitution68
20
TrezeguetDavid Trezeguet
Goal64

Substitutes

1
VasiljVladimir Vasilj (GK)
1
LandreauMickaël Landreau (GK)
23
DidulicaJoey Didulica (GK)
23
CoupetGrégory Coupet (GK)
15
LekoJerko Leko
Substitution68
Yellow Card78
7
PirèsRobert Pirès
Substitution70
18
OlićIvica Olić
Substitution73
18
PedrettiBenoît Pedretti
Substitution79
19
MornarIvica Mornar
Substitution87
19
SagnolWilly Sagnol
Substitution81
2
TokićMario Tokić
2
BoumsongJean-Alain Boumsong
4
TomasStjepan Tomas
3
LizarazuBixente Lizarazu
6
ŽivkovićBoris Živković
6
MakeleleClaude Makelele
8
SrnaDarijo Srna
9
SahaLouis Saha
14
NeretljakMato Neretljak
14
RothenJérôme Rothen
16
BabićMarko Babić
21
MarletSteve Marlet
17
KlasnićIvan Klasnić
22
GovouSidney Govou

Coach

Otto Barić (SRB) Marian Dziurowicz (POL)

Referee

Kim Milton Nielsen (DEN)

Assistant referees

Jens Larsen (DEN), Joergen Jepsen (DEN)

Fourth official

Anders Frisk (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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