Croatia v France, 17 June 2004

Score2-2
RefereeKim Milton Nielsen
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group B
VenueEstádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria
Attendance29,160
Kick-off: 7:45pm local Assistant referees: Jørgen Jepsen (Denmark) Jens Larsen (Denmark) Fourth official: Anders Frisk (Sweden) Man of the Match: Dado Pršo (Croatia) Holders France shared four goals with Croatia in a pulsating UEFA EURO 2004 Group B encounter in Leiria. Les Bleus led at half-time through an Igor Tudor own goal and were full value for their advantage. But two goals in four minutes after the interval – a Milan Rapaić penalty and Dado Pršo's superb volley – brought a tremendous Croatia fightback before David Trezeguet's strike after the hour earned France a point. Croatia made three changes from the side held 0-0 by Switzerland in their opening game; Tudor, Rapaić and Giovanni Rosso coming into the side. France, meanwhile, introduced Marcel Desailly, Sylvain Wiltord and Olivier Dacourt following Sunday's incredible last-gasp success against England. Thierry Henry was a livewire prospect in the opening stages as France dominated possession, and the Arsenal FC striker shot wide with the game's first chance on six minutes. Zinédine Zidane then saw a free-kick blocked by the wall and Wiltord blasted wide as Les Bleus kept up the momentum. It took Croatia 15 minutes to get a sight of goal, but Tomislav Šokota's weak shot posed no problem for Fabien Barthez. A period of Croatia promise followed as the Balkan side settled down after a nervy start, but France grabbed a deserved lead on 22 minutes. Zidane curled in a left-wing free-kick and the ball deflected in off Tudor for an unfortunate own goal. Zidane flashed a shot wide from a similar position before Rosso drove over the bar from 20 metres as Croatia sought to respond. Nevertheless, France, and Zidane in particular, were running the show in midfield, and it took two defenders to desperately deny Wiltord in a goalmouth skirmish. Patrick Vieira was booked for tripping Niko Kovač after 32 minutes, and Croatia central defender Tudor was cautioned for a clumsy challenge on Vieira as he burst towards goal. William Gallas then headed just wide as the French ran the show up to the interval. The second half began in sensational fashion with two Croatia goals inside the first seven minutes, Otto Barić's team turning the match on its head. Mikaël Silvestre, who had conceded a penalty against England, was adjudged to have tripped Rosso in the 48th minute and Rapaić levelled with an unstoppable spot kick. Soon Croatia were in front, as Pršo bustled into the area and punished some flimsy defending by hammering a fierce left-foot drive past Barthez. France, so comfortable in the first half, were rocked, but soon recovered their poise and goalkeeper Tomislav Butina got down smartly to deny Henry. France hauled themselves level on 64 minutes as a Tudor back pass fell short, Butina's clearance rebounded off the onrushing Trezeguet, and the Juventus striker rolled the ball into the empty net with an angled finish. A pulsating second half ebbed and flowed, and France began to take control again as the final stages approached, but Croatia defended stoutly and looked to pounce on the counterattack. Butina was forced into diving stops from substitute Robert Pirès and Henry in the closing stages but it was Croatia who came closest to taking maximum points, replacement Ivica Mornar shooting agonisingly over from close range in added time.

2  Croatia

Manager: Otto Barić

2  France

Manager: Jacques Santini

Goals:

Milan Rapaić penalty 48 P
Dado Prso 52 G

Goals:

Igor Tudor own goal 22 OG
David Trézéguet 64 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Tomislav Butina
Defender Robert Kovac
Defender Dario Simić (captain)
Defender Josip Simunic
Defender Igor Tudor
Midfielder Niko Kovac
Midfielder Milan Rapaić
Midfielder Giovanni Rosso
Forward Nenad Bjelica
Forward Dado Prso
Forward Tomislav Sokota

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez
Defender Marcel Desailly (captain)
Defender William Gallas
Defender Lilian Thuram
Midfielder Olivier Dacourt
Midfielder Patrick Vieira
Midfielder Zinédine Zidane
Forward Thierry Henry
Forward Sylvain Wiltord

Substitutions:

Jerko Leko for Nenad Bjelica 68
Ivica Olic for Tomislav Sokota 73
Ivica Mornar for Milan Rapaić 87

Substitutions:

Robert Pirés for Sylvain Wiltord 70
Benoît Pedretti for Olivier Dacourt 78
Willy Sagnol for William Gallas 81

Cards:

Igor Tudor 39 Y
Giovanni Rosso 61 Y
Robert Kovac 64 Y
Jerko Leko 78 Y

Cards:

Patrick Vieira 32 Y
Olivier Dacourt 60 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Joey Didulica
Goalkeeper Vladimir Vasilj
Defender Mato Neretljak
Defender Mario Tokić
Defender Boris Zivkovic
Defender/Midfielder Darijo Srna
Defender/Midfielder Stjepan Tomas
Midfielder Marko Babic
Midfielder Jerko Leko
Forward Ivan Klasnic
Forward Ivica Mornar
Forward Ivica Olic

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Gregory Coupet
Goalkeeper Mickaël Landreau
Defender Bixente Lizarazu
Defender Willy Sagnol
Midfielder Claude Makélélé
Midfielder Benoît Pedretti
Midfielder Robert Pirés
Midfielder Jerome Rothen
Forward Sidney Govou
Forward Steve Marlet
Forward Louis Saha