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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Croatia 2-2 France

David Trezeguet scores France's equaliser
France had David Trezeguet to thank for earning a point against Croatia.

The reigning champions looked to be heading for a comfortable win when Igor Tudor deflected a Zinedine Zidane free-kick into his own net.

But after a lacklustre first half, Croatia went into the lead through a Milan Rapaic penalty and a fine strike from forward Dado Prso.

But Trezeguet put France back on level terms when he took advantage of a defensive mix up to slot home.

The draw takes France clear at the top of Group B and only needing a point in their final game against Switzerland to qualify for the knockout stages.

France began the game in dominant mood, with Thierry Henry firing in a shot on the turn that flashed just wide.

I think both goals came from mistakes that went unpunished
Croatia coach Otto Baric
Croatia set their stall out early to try and stifle their illustrious opponents.

But their gameplan fell apart when France took the lead midway through the opening period.

The French were well worthy of the goal but they needed a large slice of fortune.

Zidane fired in a dangerous free-kick that Tudor tried half-heartedly to clear but he only succeeded in deflecting it past keeper Tomislav Butina.

23 mins: Zidane's free-kick is deflected into his own net by Tudor
48 mins: Rapaic scores from the spot after a foul by Silvestre
52 mins: Prso fires Croatia into a shock lead
64 mins: Trezeguet gets France back on level terms
The goal enabled France to up the tempo and as usual Zidane was at the heart of everything as he toyed with Croatia in what began to resemble a training-ground kickabout.

Just before half-time, France should have doubled their lead.

Henry swung in a corner that Zidane nonchalantly flicked with the outside of his boot into the path of William Gallas, who failed to finish what would have been a wonderful move by missing a header in front of goal.

We cannot repeat these moments of weakness if we want to go far
France coach Jacques Santini
But within seven minutes of the restart the game had turned on its head.

Mikael Silvestre bundled Giovanni Rosso over in the box with a clumsy challenge and referee Kim Milton Nielsen pointed to the spot.

Rapaic stepped up and fired past Fabien Barthez, who had been virtually a spectator up until that point.

Four minutes later Croatia went in front through Prso.

Zinedine Zidane put France in the lead
Zidane was an inspiration for France
The striker did well to control a deep cross and when the recalled Marcel Desailly made a hash of an attempted clearance Prso was quick to ram the ball home.

The goal led to the French players coming together in a huddle and Zidane offering his team-mates some words of encouragement.

Whatever was said must have done the trick as they were soon back on level terms - but again they had the Croatian defence to thank.

A poor backpass put Butina under pressure from Trezeguet and his attempt at a clearance hit the forward, leaving him with the simple task of sidefooting into an empty net as Croatia appealed in vain for handball.

Substitute Robert Pires and Henry were both denied by Butina in the dying stages.

But Ivica Mornar also came close to stealing the three points for Croatia when he blazed over from close range in stoppage time.

Croatia: Butina, Simic, Robert Kovac, Tudor, Simunic, Bjelica (Leko 68), Nico Kovac, Rosso, Rapaic (Mornar 87), Prso, Sokota (Olic 73).
Subs not used: Didulica, Vasilj, Klasnic, Neretljak, Srna, Tokic, Tomas, Zivkovic, Babic.

Booked: Tudor, Rosso, Robert Kovac, Leko.

France: Barthez, Gallas (Sagnol 81), Thuram, Desailly, Silvestre, Wiltord (Pires 70), Vieira, Dacourt (Pedretti 79), Zidane, Trezeguet, Henry.
Subs not used: Coupet, Landreau, Govou, Boumsong, Lizarazu, Makelele, Marlet, Rothen, Saha.

Booked: Vieira, Dacourt.

Attendance: 30,000.

Referee: Kim Nielsen (Denmark).

Category Croatia France
Total shots 8 11
Shots on target 4 6
Possession 46% 54%
Corners won 2 9
Fouls committed 20 14
Offsides 4 3
Bookings 4 2
Sent Off 0 0


  • France saw their European record streak of 14 consecutive wins in competitive matches ended by this draw. They also saw their European Championships winning streak ended at four, one short of the record.
  • France have now scored in eight consecutive European Championship matches which equals the tournament record. That record was set by Germany between 1988 and 1992.
  • Igor Tudor's own goal marks the fourth own goal in European Championship history. Dejan Govedarica (Yugoslavia, 2000), Luboslav Penev (Bulgaria, 1996) and Anton Ondrus (Czechoslovakia, 1976) previously scored own goals.

    Links to more Euro 2004 stories



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