Update: England 1-1 France, Final Score
England have put together a better showing than most expected from them in the first half of their Euro 2012 opener against France, but they'll be disappointed that they conceded a goal shortly before halftime. The Three Lions got off to a strong start and found the opening goal on a set piece, but Samir Nasri pulled one back to lock up the score at 1-1 at halftime.
France had some good early moments in the first half, and they controlled the play from the start of the match. Joe Hart almost gave up a golden chance in the 9th minute when he dropped a corner kick, but England was able to clear. Two minutes later, Nasri hit a good shot just inches wide. That seemed to be a bit of a wake-up call for England, who settled in after that.
James Milner missed an absolutely golden chance to put England ahead in the 15th minute. Scott Parker and Ashley Young did well to quickly get the ball forward from midfield to set up Milner, with Young providing a through ball for Milner to run onto. Milner made a great run past the France defense and rounded Hugo Lloris to give himself an empty net, but he inexplicably missed wide, hitting the side netting at the near post.
That miss could have been a gut-punch to England, but they fought back and find an opening goal in the 30th minute. Steven Gerrard set it up with a great free kick from the right flank, hitting an out-swinger towards the edge of the six-yard area. Joleon Lescott got up above Alou Diarra and powered a header into the back of the net, giving the Three Lions a surprise lead.
France began to show much more of a sense of urgency after that goal went in. They had two great chances in the 35th minute, with Diarra nearly redeeming himself for his part in the England goal. He turned a Nasri free kick on target with a great header, but Hart came up with a big save. Franck Ribery put the rebound back across the box for Diarra to make another attempt, but his second effort went wide.
Just four minutes later, France found their equalizer through Nasri. On a well-worked short set piece routine, the ball ended up on the edge of the penalty area at the feet of Ribery, who teed up Nasri for a shot. He unleashed a low drive at Hart's near post that found its way through a good deal of traffic. Hart spotted the ball late because of the players in front of him and couldn't react in time as it whizzed by him and into the back of the net.
Both teams and sets of fans are likely heading into halftime happy with their performance. France have been the better side and have an opportunity to win the game, but England are holding their own. The Three Lions won't be happy that they conceded, but Roy Hodgson probably would have taken a draw at halftime before the match started.