Zagreb (AFP) – Kylian Mbabane won late on Wednesday as France beat Croatia 2-1 in a Nations League clash in Zagreb on Wednesday.
The Paris Saint-Germain star, who had previously missed an open goal, jumped 11 minutes from time to end this latest rematch in favor of France in the 2018 World Cup final, following the cancellation of Antoine Griezmann starter Nicola Vlasic.
France, who won the final 4-2 in Moscow two years ago, also won 4-2 when the teams clashed in Paris in the Nations League last month.
Les Blues have never lost to Croatia since this decision, holding the French level 10 points ahead of Portugal in Nations League A, Group 3.
Portugal, last year’s opening nations league winners, beat Sweden 3-0 in Lisbon on Wednesday due to the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is now number one in the group and one place in next year’s four-team final between Portugal and France. The teams meet on November 14 in Portugal, 0-0 in Paris last weekend.
Following that match, France coach Didier Deschamps made six changes to his line-up, including Manchester United’s Anthony Marshall and Real Madrid full-back Ferland Mendy leading the way with the likes of Paul Boca and Oliver Groot.
Mendy had a role to play in the opening game in the eighth minute as his cross was blocked before the ball fell to Griezmann, who smashed a shot into the bottom of the forward crossbar.
After that Mbappe somehow failed to convert a martial aid with a goal break and Croatia struggled again in the second half.
To the delight of their fans of about 7,000, they set up Vlasic, the brother of former high jump world champion Blanca Vlasic, in the 65th minute alongside captain Luca Modric and substitute Joseph Breccalo. In the corner.
It was left to Mbappe, who missed the last meeting of the pages with the corona virus in September, to beat the French winner.
Boca, in turn, sent a superb ball to Lucas Dickney, who turned Everton full-back’s cushioned first-half cross into Mbappe.