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Croatia v France, Austria v Denmark: Nations League – live! | Nations League

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Austria v Denmark is on!

The teams have kicked off in Vienna, just the 90 minutes behind schedule.

Austria fans wait in the gloom before power was restored. Photograph: Christian Hofer / Getty Images

70 mins: Modric makes a dazzling cameo, shimmying into space on the edge of the area and curving a shot on goal. Maignan gets across to push it away.

67 mins: Kramaric comes on for Budimir, who missed a decent chance in the first half and has faded since …

“Austria-Denmark will apparently start at 10.15pm,” says Lars Bøgegaard. So any minute now, then.

Croatia make some changes too, with Mario Pasalic and Mislav Orsic replacing Brekalo and Majer.

60 mins: Changes for France, with new Villa recruit Boubacar Kamara replacing Tchouameni for his international debut. Antoine Griezmann is on for Ben Yedder, who did very little but did set up the goal.

58 mins: Croatia are pushing forward again, but still struggling to find a cutting edge. Budimir tries to get on the end of a cross, but he is marshalled well by Kimpembe.

We are still waiting to see if the game can get under way in Vienna. That’s the news you’re all anxiously waiting for, isn’t it?

GOAL! Croatia 0-1 France (Rabiot 53 ‘)

Croatia had started the half on the front foot, but it’s France who take the lead. Adrien Rabiot latches on to Ben Yedder’s through ball down the left, and fires the ball first-time inside the near post!

Adrien Rabiot (center) celebrates his opening goal.
Adrien Rabiot (center) celebrates his opening goal. Photograph: Milan Sabic / Pixsell / MB Media / Getty Images

GOAL! Iceland 1-1 Albania Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson has leveled things from a corner in League B, Group 2. That group, by the way, is a three-team affair with Russia disqualified. Israel are the other side in the group.

Peep! The second half is under way in Split. No changes for either side, which is something of a surprise.

“Watchable ?!” bellows John Ryan. “There’s been three shots, it’s brutal. Bring on France’s first-choice front three at half time or this shambles will take 90 plus minutes of our life we’ll never get back. “

I mean, it’s not unwatchable …

It’s also half-time in Reykjavik, where Albania lead Iceland 1-0. Elsewhere: Belarus 0-0 Azerbaijan, Slovakia 0-1 Kazakhstan, Andorra 0-0 Moldova.

Half time! Croatia 0-0 France

An enjoyable half of football ends goalless, with Christopher Nkunku seeing an effort disallowed and chances spurned by both teams.

Still not under way in Vienna, where dark has now descended. You wonder if that game will kick off at all, at this stage. Meanwhile in Andorra, Moldova’s Victor Stina has been sent off – giving the hosts a chance for a famous win.

40 mins: Vida’s slip almost lets Diaby in from Nkunku’s pass, but the winger carries the ball a little too wide and Livakovic saves from an angle. Moments later, Tchouameni strikes from distance and forces the Croatian keeper into another spritely save.

GOAL! Iceland 0-1 Albania Taulant Seferi sweeps the ball home to give Albania the lead in Reykjavik.

NO GOAL! Nkunku thinks he has fired France in front, but after a pitchside VAR check, the referee rules it out for offside!

We have a goal! Kazakhstan lead Slovakia 1-0 in Trnava. Aslan Darabayev is the man on the scoresheet. Back in Split, Brozovic is penalized for clattering the unfortunate Nkunku.

23 mins: Nkunku is OK to continue – which will be a relief to his many summer suitors at club level. The free kick is whipped towards another wanted man, Tchouameni, who steers his shot wide at the back post.

20 mins: Vida goes in the book for a heavy challenge on Nkunku, who is still down holding his leg. It was a clumsy hack, but made worse by the pitch, with the French forward’s boots catching in the surface.

Still no kick-off time in Vienna, with the problem apparently extending to a wide area beyond the stadium. It’s goalless in all the games under way; in the early kick-off in League D, Latvia beat Liechtenstein 1-0.

Austria head coach Ralf Rangnick waits patiently in Vienna.
Austria head coach Ralf Rangnick waits patiently in Vienna. Photograph: Christian Bruna / EPA

The French setup looks pretty fluid, with Digne dropping into left-back off the ball. They’re also playing a very high line, and it almost costs them here as a simple through ball puts Budimir in the clear. He tries to draw Maignan out of goal, but the keeper stands firm and blocks his shot.

Austria v Denmark start delayed

One game hasn’t started on time: the match in Vienna has been postponed due to a power outage. No word yet on when, or if, they’ll get under way.

Six minutes gone in Split, where Majer has just dragged a shot wide from Modric’s corner.

The other games kicking off at 7.45pm are Iceland v Albania (League B), Belarus v Azerbaijan and Slovakia v Kazakhstan (both League C), & Andorra v Moldova (Group D) …

Peep! We’re about to get under way in Split, Vienna and beyond.

One fan in Split tonight has sent me this photo. Fans are still queuing to get in outside the ground, with a kick-off under 15 minutes away.

@niallmcveigh 15 minutes to get in, been here since 8pm and slow moving. Might, just. pic.twitter.com/45dsoHWAqi

— Tom (@tomajbritten) June 6, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/tomajbritten/status/1533879499380731904″,”id”:”1533879499380731904″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”b12efcb3-66aa-4f51-b7a1-10ff40305590″}}”/>

Here’s Ben Fisher on Wales’ journey from the wilderness to the World Cup:

Team news: Austria v Denmark

Austria (4-1-4-1): Pentz; Trimmel, Posch, Alaba (c), Friedl; Selwald; Laimer, Schlager, Ljubicic, Baumgartner; Kalajdzic.

Subs: Lindner (GK), Fraisl (GK), Trauner, Danso, Arnautovic, Sabitzer, Weimann, Gregoritsch, Wöber, Onisiwo, Lainer, Lázaro.

Denmark (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel (c); Andersen, Nelsson, Vestergaard, Mæhle; Højbjerg, Jensen; Kristensen, Eriksen, Braithwaite; Poulsen.

Subs: Iversen (GK), Vindahl-Jensen (GK), Delaney, Skov Olsen, Boilesen, Damsgaard, Billing, Stryger, Wass, Skov, Cornelius.

Not entirely sure how Didier Deschamps will set up tonight – looks like a 3-5-2 with Digne and Diaby as wing-backs, but Uefa have it as a more conventional 4-2-3-1, with Rabiot pushing forward.

For the hosts, Luka Modric is back in the starting line-up, and wins his 150th cap for his country tonight. Osasuna forward Ante Budimir and Rangers full-back Borna Barisic are also brought into the side by Zlatko Dalic.

Team news: Croatia v France

Croatia (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Erlic, Vida, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Majer, Budimir, Brekalo.

Subs: Labrovic (GK), Ivusic (GK), Vrsaljko, Sutalo, Pongracic, Kramaric, Vlasic, Sucic, Pasalic, Jakic, Orsic, Ivanusec.

France (3-5-2): Maignan; Pavard, Saliba, Kimpembe; Diaby, Guendouzi, Tchouaméni, Rabiot, Digne; Nkunku, Ben Yedder.

Subs: Lloris (GK), Areola (GK), Konate, Koundé, Griezmann, Mbappé, Coman, Kamara, Clauss, Benzema, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez.

Preamble

The third edition of the Nations League is a full-throttle affair – the final four will be set by September, and four of the six rounds of group games will be played in the current two-week window. There have been some eye-catching results already, leaving big teams a matter of days to turn things around – and get some kind of momentum going before November’s World Cup in Qatar (yes, it really is happening).

France, the Nations League holders, are one such team – the home defeat to World Cup group-mates Denmark has put them in a tight spot before tonight’s game in Split. The same goes for their hosts, Croatia, who were tonked 3-0 by Ralf Rangnick’s Austria. It will be a long way back for whoever loses this re-run of the last men’s World Cup final in 2018, which honestly feels about 10 years ago, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, Austria and Denmark will meet in Vienna in a battle for control of * checks notes * Group A1. Kasper Hjulmand’s team look poised to replace Croatia as the side each and every pundit picks to “go on a run” at the World Cup. Austria aren’t going to Qatar, but you might argue that their first result under Rangnick was more impressive than anything he did at Manchester United.

But wait – there’s more! In League B, Iceland host Albania … OK, there may not be more. Should still be fun though. Kick-off in tonight’s games: 7.45pm (BST).

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