Nations League holders France beaten by Croatia, Denmark overtake Austria – Nations League roundup | Soccer News
France’s Nations League woes deepened as their winless start continued with a 1-0 home loss to Croatia, while Denmark recovered to beat Austria 2- 0.
France remain bottom of Group A1, two points behind third-placed Austria, with a fifth-minute Luka Modric penalty enough to seal victory at the Parc des Princes.
The match came almost a month to the day before the fourth anniversary of the pair’s meeting in the 2018 World Cup final, with Croatia finally able to get their revenge and take a three-point lead into second place in the band.
Pascal Kimpembe’s first trip to Ante Budimir from a corner was confirmed by a VAR review allowing Modric to shoot from 12 yards, and although the hosts pushed for a leveler through Christopher Nkunku, Kylian Mbappe and Lucas Digne , the holders continued their winless start to the competition.
Denmark held on to a 2-0 first-half lead to beat comfortably Austria in Copenhagen and bounced back from their loss to Croatia to stay two points clear at the top of the group.
Christopher Trimmel was surprised with a diagonal ball into the channel for the opening goal, with Joakim Maehle squared for Jonas Wind to fire from close range.
They doubled their advantage eight minutes before half-time when Austria failed to clear their lines from a corner, and Andreas Cornelius snuck past Andreas Skov Olsen to finish.
Michael Gregoritsch fired wide as time was running out, but much-changed Austria left new manager Ralf Rangnick with more questions than answers after failing to capitalize on an impressive draw with France last week.
Somewhere else, Iceland led twice against the leaders of group B2 Israel but were held 2-2 in Reykjavik to deny them top spot.
Jon Thorsteinsson gave them an early lead in the opening 10 minutes, but Daniel Gretarsson’s own goal leveled things before half-time.
After the break, Thorir Helgason put the hosts ahead again on the hour mark before Dor Peretz equalized five minutes later to keep Israel top of the group.
Kazakhstan opened a four-point gap at the top of Group C3 as two first-half goals were enough to beat Slovakia 2-1.
Yan Vorogovskiy opened the scoring before Elkhan Astanov doubled the advantage, and although Matus Bero had halved Slovakia’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when Ondrej Duda received two yellow cards in the space of one minute and was kicked out.