Real Madrid midfielder and Croatia captain Luka Modric scored the lone goal in his side’s 1-0 victory over France in the Nations League on Monday.
It took just five minutes in Saint-Denis for the opening goal to be converted off a penalty from Modric. It was defender Ibrahima Konate who committed the penalty against Ante Budimir. Modric made no mistake as he put the ball in the right corner past France keeper Mike Maignan.
For the French, Benzema started while Real Madrid newcomer Aurelien Tchouameni subbed on at the start of the second half. Both Modric and Benzema played the entire 90 minutes.
The Benzema-Mbappe pairing hasn’t quite clicked yet for France’s attack. Benzema had a chance midway through the second half, but was handled by the Croatian defense in front of keeper Ivica Ivusic. Benzema didn’t have a wealth of chances for France.
Tchouameni was quite impressive from the moment he was subbed on the start of the second half. He made what was a goal-saving tackle on Mario Pasalic in the box.
He had a strong clear off a rebound to prevent any further chance for Croatia after a shot from midfielder Lovro Majer. The French youngster also had a header chance that was cleared by Croatia’s defenders.
A takeaway from watching Tchouameni was his aggressiveness in pressing the Croatian players. He made a couple of other strong tackles during play, including one on Andrej Kramaric that led to a France buildup. The 22-year-old also has a strong willingness for a defensive midfielder to shoot the ball.
France has had an awful start to the Nations League losing and drawing twice in the four matches played, which puts them at the bottom of Group 1. Croatia has captured seven points in the tournament, which puts them two points behind Denmark and second in the group.
Modric, Benzema, and Tchouameni will return to Nations League action at the end of September.