Donetsk: France and England cancelled each other out in a 1-1 Euro 2012 Group D draw that began full of energy and invention but slowed into a tight clash as the players tired in the Ukraine heat on Monday.   

England were full of running early on and, after James Milner missed a sitter, they went ahead on the half-hour when centre back Joleon Lescott met a Steven Gerrard free kick to head in his first international goal.   

Samir Nasri brought France deservedly level with a well-struck low drive from the edge of the box in the 39th minute, moments after England keeper Joe Hart had produced a great save to keep out a thundering Alou Diarra header.   

A 20-metre drive from Samir Nasri brought France level with England at 1-1 at halftime in their Group D game.

Lescott got the better of France defender Alou Diarra when he rose well to firmly head home a sweeping free kick from the right by Steven Gerrard for his first goal for England.   

Minutes later Diarra went close to making amends with a thundering header from a Nasri cross which England keeper Joe Hart did well to keep out.   

But France got back on level terms when the influential Nasri struck with a sweet low drive that skidded past his his Manchester City team mate Hart.   

Ukraine take on Sweden in the other Group D game in Kiev later on Monday to complete the first round of matches.

(Agencies)

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