Nicolas Cordova made France pay for their profligacy as his 77th-minute equaliser earned Chile a draw in Montpellier.
Laurent Blanc's side, still in a state of rebuilding following last year's farcical World Cup showing under Raymond Domenech, had led through Loic Remy.
But they wasted numerous chances to wrap up the win and were made to pay when Cordova netted with 13 minutes remaining.
An entertaining start saw plenty of craft from both sides.
First Karim Benzema fired wide from 20 yards before Chile's Luis Jimenez was similarly ambitious from even further out.
Remy hit a 25-yard effort wide in the 12th minute before team-mate Marvin Martin continued the theme with an off-target attempt of his own.
The opening goal came in the 20th minute as Benzema showed endeavour down the left before centring for Remy to nod home past Claudio Bravo.
Chile looked to respond as playmaker Jorge Valdivia fired over the bar and Arturo Vidal also smashed one over.
Benzema was then denied by Bravo and Valdivia was off target yet again.
Chelsea attacker Florent Malouda burst into life in the second half, hitting a shot wide in the 54th minute and also missing two minutes later.
Benzema forced a save from Bravo moments after as France opened up.
Shortly after the hour mark Remy nearly doubled the tally when he met Martin's corner but smashed his effort against the bar.
A spate of substitutions and bookings followed before Chile found the equaliser they wanted.
The introduction of talisman Alexis Sanchez from the bench was telling as he set up Cordova, who swept home the Barcelona recruit's cross from the right with aplomb.
Kevin Gameiro and Yohan Cabaye both had speculative efforts that failed to test Bravo as Chile headed home to with their heads held high.