1:2 in Wales: Croatia threatens to miss the European Championship
After the second defeat in a row, third place Croatia no longer has participation in the 2024 European Championship in Germany in their own hands. Wales celebrated a 2-1 win in Cardiff and moved past the Croatians into second place in Group D with two games left.
After the second defeat in a row, only third: Croatia around Luka Modric (left) and Domagoj Vida.
After the 0-1 defeat against Turkey, Croatia had the next chance in Wales to take a big step closer to the 2024 European Championships in Germany and move away from Wales and Armenia to within six points with a win with two games to go. However, the Welsh, who had already won 4-0 against Gibraltar in the test on Wednesday, were under pressure and urgently needed a win to keep their hopes of qualifying.
The Croatians, who made three substitutions compared to the defeat against Turkey – Juranovic, Majer and Vida replaced Stanisic, Sutalo and Pasalic – took control of the game in the first half, but were unable to create any real chances against a highly concentrated defense. Wales, on the other hand, repeatedly switched quickly and caused danger.
First Vida made a desperate save against Wilson (12′), then it was goalkeeper Livakovic who parried first a free kick from Wilson (24′) and then an attempt from Williams and kept his team in the game.
Wilson strikes twice
Shortly after the break, the goalkeeper couldn’t do anything either. After an unfortunate move by Brozovic, Brooks fed Wilson, who had started, who overcame Livakovic with a lob and took the deserved lead (47th). A little later, the FC Fulham man was there again for a cross from Daniel James, let the ball go over his head, caught Livakovic on the wrong foot and increased the score to 2-0 (60th).
European Championship qualification, Group D – 8th matchday
Substitute James even had the chance to make it 3-0, but missed with his shot (69′). The hosts then withdrew, concentrated on defense and let the Croatians come – and they came. First, Augsburg’s Beljo was denied by Ward’s strong reaction, but the resulting corner pushed Pasalic over the line from close range after an unfortunate header from Wales striker Moore (75′). Doubly bitter for Wales: Beljo was probably a step offside when his chance led to a corner.
Wales brings victory over time
So the Croatians were suddenly back in the game and pushing for the equalizer. Wales, on the other hand, threw themselves into the duels and tried to somehow save the all-important threesome over time – with success. Because the guests were unable to do more than header approaches from Beljo (78th, 90th + 4th) and a long-range shot from Modric (83rd).
The Welsh were able to celebrate after the final whistle and have everything in their own hands with two games to go. While Turkey has already qualified at the top of Group D, Croatia has slipped to third place after the botched international break due to the direct comparison and has to hope that Wales can give up again on the last two matchdays in November.
Wales continue in Armenia (November 18th, 3 p.m.) and against Turkey (November 21st, 8:45 p.m.). Finally, Croatia will face Latvia (November 18th, 6 p.m.) and Armenia (November 21st, 8:45 p.m.).