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Kylian Mbappé stays on bench following broken nose as France draws with Netherlands at Euro 2024

By Ben Church, CNN

(CNN) — Kylian Mbappé was an unused substitute in France’s goalless draw against the Netherlands on Friday, after the striker broke his nose in his nation’s opening game of Euro 2024.

There had been fears the France captain would miss the Group D clash, but manager Didier Deschamps told reporters Thursday that his star man would be available.

However, the decision was made to rest Mbappé, who watched on as his teammates failed to find a breakthrough against the Oranje.

In truth, Les Bleus almost lost the match. Xavi Simons thought he had scored the winner for the Netherlands in the second half, but the goal was controversially ruled out for an offside.

Simons himself was clearly onside but teammate Denzel Dumfries was in an offside position and was adjudged by the video assistant referee (VAR) to have hindered France goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Without its star striker, France struggled to finish off its chances and continued to be wasteful in front of goal throughout the match – Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann were guilty of missing two notable opportunities.

However, the draw is likely enough to secure France’s progression into the knockout stages. Les Bleus will have the chance to win the group when they play Poland on Tuesday.

The final group stage game will be another opportunity for Mbappé to make his return; the 25-year-old had trained earlier this week, donning a French-inspired tricolore mask.

However, Mbappé is not allowed to wear the multicolored mask during a Euro 2024 match as UEFA’s rules stipulate that “medical equipment worn on the field of play must be a single colour and free of team and manufacturer identification.”

Group E: Ukraine secures comeback win

Ukraine, playing in its first major tournament since the war began in 2022, produced a stirring performance at Euro 2024 on Friday, securing a comeback 2-1 win against Slovakia in Group E.

Goals from Mykola Shaparenko and Roman Yaremchuk rescued what would have been a devastating result for the Blue and Yellow – a loss would have put the nation on the brink of elimination from the tournament.

Ukraine suffered a chastening defeat in its opening group game on Monday, producing a dour display in a 3-0 defeat against Romania.

Its performance was far better against Slovakia, but the team was still second-best for much of the first half, falling behind in the 17th minute after Ivan Schranz’s header.

But Ukraine looked rejuvenated after the break and came out for the second half with a new sense of belief. Shaparenko kept his calm to finish off a well-worked move in the 54th minute, before Yaremchuk poked home the winner with 10 minutes left to go.

Coming into the tournament, Ukraine’s manager Serhiy Rebrov told CNN Sport that he wanted his team to lift the spirits of Ukrainians around the world during Euro 2024.

In doing just that on Friday, Ukraine also reignited its hopes of progressing into the knockout stages of the competition – the squad now sits second in Group E with one group match still left to play against Belgium on Wednesday.

“It’s very good emotions for our people of Ukraine who are really missing these emotions,” Rebrov said in his post-match interview on Friday.

“Most important, today, we showed the spirit. In this kind of tournament, you can win, you can lose, but it’s very important how you do it.

“We deserve this win and I think today we really played with spirit.”

Group D: Poland out of Euro 2024

Earlier on Friday, Austria beat Poland 3-1 in Group D, a result which later meant the latter would exit Euro 2024.

Gernot Trauner scored a brilliant header in the ninth minute to put the Burschen ahead, but Poland equalized before half-time through Krzysztof Piątek.

A draw would have left both teams facing an uphill challenge to reach the knockout stages of the tournament, so each squad went in search of a winner.

It was Austria which showed most composure in front of goal and Christoph Baumgartner produced a clinical finish to hand his team the lead, before captain Marko Arnautović added a third from the penalty spot.

France’s draw against the Netherlands late on Friday meant Poland became the first team to exit the tournament.

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This story has been updated with additional information.

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