Croatia hold France 2-2

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> France were held to a 2-2 draw by Croatia in a Euro 2004 match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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France could have become the first team to reach the quarter-finals at Euro 2004 with a win against Croatia. However, the defending champions were held to a 2-2 draw by the Croats. Though the damage isn't that major, France needs just a draw from their last group game to go through to the knock out stage. France's Lillian Thuram had promised Croatia that the defending champions would go slow on them but by the 23rd minute Zinedine Zidane was in action. That goal infact was later given as an own goal since it had taken a deflection off Igor Tudor. Mikael Silvestre then conceded his second consecutive penalty, the last one though wasn't as costly since David Beckham didn't score. However this time Fabien Barthez couldn't do much against the powerful strike and Croatia leveled the match. Upset on cards After coming back from the dead to edge out England in their opening encounter, the French clearly believed they had passed their sternest test. The Croatians, however, rocked the titleholders with two quickfire goals just after the restart through Milan Rapaic from the penalty spot and Dado Prso. And it was only when David Trezeguet capitalised on a ghastly error by Robert Kovac in the 63rd minute that France got on level terms. Referee Kim Milton Nielsen allowed play to continue although the ball struck Trezeguet's arm as he rounded the goalkeeper. Croatia could have grabbed victory in the closing minutes if substitute Ivica Mornar had not poked a gilt-edged chance past the post. The draw leaves France a point clear of England, with a seemingly routine fixture against the Swiss to come. Croatia meanwhile must beat England on Sunday to advance. (With wire inputs)

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