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Soccer-Mbappe strike gives France 2-1 win in Croatia

ZAGREB, Oct 14 (Reuters) - France stretched their unbeaten run against Croatia to eight games after a late goal by Kylian Mbappe gave the world champions a 2-1 win in their Nations League top-tier Group 3 match on Wednesday.

The result left France second in the group on 10 points from four games, behind Portugal on goal difference after the European champions brushed aside Sweden 3-0. Croatia have three points and the Swedes none.

Antoine Griezmann fired France into an eighth-minute lead when he drilled the ball home off the underside of the bar from 12 metres after Domagoj Vida failed to clear a Ferland Mendy cross from the right.

Croatia midfielder Nikola Vlasic equalised in the 65th, unleashing a sublime shot with the outside of his foot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after good work by Luka Modric and Josip Brekalo.

Substitute Paul Pogba missed a sitter for France, who beat Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 World Cup final and defeated them by the same score in the reverse Nations League fixture last month, before the visitors secured victory 11 minutes from time.

It was a crafty three-touch move as Pogba found Lucas Digne with a long pass from inside his own half and the left back volleyed a cross into the penalty area for Mbappe to slide in and steer the ball past keeper Dominik Livakovic. (Reporting by Zoran Milosavljevic; Edititng by Ed Osmond)

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