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Nations League holders France beaten by Croatia, Denmark cruise past Austria - Nations League round-up

Luka Modric's penalty gives Croatia a 1-0 win over France to leave Nations League holders bottom of Group A1; Denmark top group after beating Austria 2-0; Iceland twice throw away lead to draw 2-2 with Israel; Kazakhstan lead Group C3 after 2-1 win over Slovakia

Veteran midfielder Luka Modric scored Croatia's winner against France
Image: Veteran midfielder Luka Modric scored Croatia's winner against France

France's Nations League woes were worsened as their winless start continued with a 1-0 home defeat to Croatia, while Denmark recovered to beat Austria 2-0.

France remain bottom of Group A1, two points adrift of third-placed Austria, with Luka Modric's fifth-minute penalty enough to seal victory at the Parc des Princes.

The game came almost a month to the day before the fourth anniversary of the pair meeting in the 2018 World Cup final, with Croatia finally able to get revenge and move three points clear in second place in the group.

Pascal Kimpembe's early trip on Ante Budimir from a corner was confirmed by a VAR review allowing Modric to fire in from 12 yards, and although the hosts pressed for a leveller 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 comfortably beat Austria in Copenhagen and bounce back from defeat to Croatia to remain two points clear at the top of the group.

Christopher Trimmel was caught out by a diagonal ball into the channel for the opening goal, with Joakim Maehle squaring for Jonas Wind to fire home from close-range.

Jonas Wind notched his fifth international goal to open the scoring against Austria
Image: Jonas Wind notched his fifth international goal to open the scoring against Austria

They doubled their advantage eight minutes before half-time when Austria failed to clear their lines from a corner, and Andreas Cornelius stole in to tee up Andreas Skov Olsen to finish.

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Michael Gregoritsch fired just wide with time running out but much-changed Austria left new manager Ralf Rangnick with more questions than answers after failing to build on an impressive draw with France last week.

Elsewhere, Iceland twice led against Group B2 leaders Israel but were held to a 2-2 draw in Reykjavik to deny them top spot.

Jon Thorsteinsson gave them an early lead inside the first 10 minutes, but Daniel Gretarsson's own goal levelled things up before half-time.

After the break, Thorir Helgason put the hosts ahead again on the hour mark before Dor Peretz equalised five minutes later to keep Israel top of the group.

Kazakhstan opened up 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 though Matus Bero halved the deficit Slovakia's hopes of a comeback were ended when Ondrej Duda was shown two yellow cards in the space of a minute and sent off.

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