The stalemate denied Didier Deschamps’ side a perfect record in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
ATHENS: Greece came from a goal down to hold France to a 2-2 draw in their final Euro 2024 qualifier in Group B on Tuesday, denying Didier Deschamps’ side a perfect record in their qualifying campaign.
Randal Kolo Muani scored just before half-time before Greece levelled in the 56th minute through Anastasios Bakasetas and Fotis Ioannidis gave the hosts the lead five minutes later. Youssouf Fofana equalised for France in the 74th minute.
The match had nothing at stake for either side after France, who finished with seven wins and a draw, and the Netherlands had claimed the top two spots to qualify for the finals and third-placed Greece had secured a place in the playoffs.
Les Bleus were looking to end the qualifying competition with a 100% record for the first time since completing the feat ahead of Euro 2004, having also achieved a perfect run to reach the 1992 tournament when coach Deschamps was playing.
Deschamps made eight changes to his starting line-up with Theo Hernandez, Adrien Rabiot, and Antoine Griezmann the only players to start the match after Saturday’s demolishing of 10-man Gibraltar 14-0 in a record Euro qualifying win.
France controlled the early possession but did not create a clear chance in the opening 30 minutes and captain Griezmann hit the post from close range after the half-hour mark.
However, the opener arrived before the break when Olivier Giroud teed up Kolo Muani who fired into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Greece, the Euro 2004 champions, levelled in the 56th minute through midfielder Anastasios Bakasetas, who struck with a volley from outside the box, and Fotis Ioannidis gave Greece the lead five minutes later.
France continued to dominate possession and Fofana equalised for the visitors with a powerful shot from distance. Kingsley Coman thought he had grabbed the winner, but VAR showed his effort did not fully cross the goal line.
France substitute Kylian Mbappe, who ended the qualifying campaign with nine goals, had a last-gasp chance to seal the win but hit the bar deep into stoppage time.