In the most hard-fought game played in the U16 European Championship Women so far, France had a hard time to beat Croatia by 64-62.
The French team sailed in the first half, reaching a 10 point lead.
The younger Croatian team struggled to keep the pace, getting soon into foul trouble, with Klaudia Perisa committing her fourth foul just three minutes after start of the second quarter.
In the second half, a transformed Croatian team dominated the court, having in Ivana Dojkic their leader, scoring 26 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.
In the meantime, France lost their focus and were five points behind after the third period, 43-48.
France showed more maturity in the fourth quarter.
The last two minutes were emotional, but the French avoided overtime with Carla Blatrie making the decisive lay-up with just 12 seconds to go.
Lisa Berkani was the best French scorer with 14 points, while Katia Clanet dominated the paint with 11 points.
France advance to the Qualifying Round and will try to confirm their first place in Group C playing versus England on Saturday.