England and France draw 1-1 in their Group C Euro 2012 opening match.
DONETSK, UKRAINE (JUNE 11, 2012)(REUTERS) -France and England battled to a 1-1 stalemate in their opening Euro 2012 Group D match on Monday (June 11) after Joleon Lescott's opener for England was cancelled out by Samir Nasri.
The match, played in warm humid conditions at a less than full Donbass Arena, saw England defend resolutely against a more inventive French side who are now unbeaten in 22 matches.
England made the breakthrough after 30 minutes when Lescott scored his first goal for his country, powerfully heading home a whipped Steven Gerrard free kick that left France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris floundering.
England only stayed ahead for nine minutes, though, before Lescott's Manchester City team mate Nasri fired France's equaliser past another club colleague in England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Nasri beat Hart at the near post with a superbly struck shot from outside the penalty area, shortly after the keeper had made a brilliant reflex save from Alou Diarra's thundering header.
England manager Roy Hodgson, in charge for only six weeks, gambled on a bold line-up with teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain called up for only his third appearance, and although he made some surging runs, his lack of a final product was noticeable compared to a succession of French attempts on goal.
France, coached by Laurent Blanc, dominated possession and looked sharper in attack than the English. Yohan Cabaye, Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema all went close for Les Bleus but could not find a second goal.
France 1 England 1 - Euro 2012 Group D at the Donbass Arena, Donetsk
France: Samir Nasri 39
England: Joleon Lescott 30
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)