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Key Events

90' + 2'
M. Brozović
Yellow Card
D. Brooks
C. Roberts
2 - 1
D. Vida
Yellow Card
I. Perišić
2 - 0
J. Lawrence
Own Goal
1 - 0

Match Stats

62% 37%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 6
Total Passes 548 326
  • Heatmap
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Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Croatia CRO Croatia 8 5 2 1 17 7 +10 17 W D W D W
2 Wales WAL Wales 8 4 2 2 10 6 +4 14 W W D D W
3 Slovakia SVK Slovakia 8 4 1 3 13 11 +2 13 W L D W L
4 Hungary HUN Hungary 8 4 0 4 8 11 -3 12 L W L L W
5 Azerbaijan AZE Azerbaijan 8 0 1 7 5 18 -13 1 L L L D L


Final Tournament


Thank you for joining us for live coverage of Croatia's 2-1 victory against Wales. Until next time, goodbye!
However, it's not the end of the world. Wales are still only three points behind Croatia having played a game less and have a chance to close that gap when they travel to Hungary on Tuesday. Croatia, meanwhile, play a friendly against Tunisia on the same day. If Wales want to win, though, they'll need to improve both their defending and finishing.
Although Croatia go top of the group with a 2-1 win, this should feel like points dropped for Wales. Defensively they were shambolic, Lawrence scoring an own goal after 17 minutes and the unit collectively wasting multiple chances to clear the ball in the build-up to Perisic's goal three minutes after the break. In an attacking sense, too, they were poor. Vaulks and Wilson sent efforts straight at Livakovic in the first half, while Bale twice saw shots saved after Brooks pulled a goal back via a Vida deflection. Brooks did make a difference after coming on, but ultimately couldn't find an equaliser as his final chance was saved in added time.
90' + 6' Perhaps this is the final chance of the game as Livakovic comes off his line to claim a cross. We're over the allotted five minutes of added time.
90' + 4' There was a moment of slight confusion over the change, as Modric thought he was coming off. The captain stays on, but it's killed the momentum in the game. Perhaps this was Dalic's plan.
M. Škorić
I. Perišić
90' + 3' Dalic makes another change, taking off Perisic for Skoric in added time.
M. Brozović
Yellow Card
90' + 2' Brozovic is shown a yellow card for a bad foul. It's Croatia's fifth of the game!
90' + 1' CHANCE FOR WALES! They go straight up the other end and a desperately stretching Brooks forces a save from Livakovic in the bottom-left corner after Bale finds him in the centre of the box! Is this the last big chance to equalise?
90' + 1' Here come Croatia on the attack against a short-staffed Wales defence. Pasalic plays Kramaric in behind the defence and the striker cuts inside to get a right-footed shot away, but Hennessey saves! What a chance to end the game!
90' Croatia have never lost in Osijek - today's venue - winning nine and drawing two of their 11 matches there. They're only a few moments away from another well-earned victory.
88' It's end-to-end at the moment! Wales counter and Bale manages to fire a cross through the six-yard box, but Wilson - arriving at the far post - heads over the bar!
87' Croatia nearly make it 3-1! Modric finds Kramaric in behind with a wonderful pass, but the striker hits the side-netting with his shot.
86' Wales come forward again through Bale and he tries to square inside, but the pass is poor and Croatia regain possession.
84' Matondo tries to beat Barisic one-on-one by the corner flag on the far side, but the Croatia defender uses his body well and wins a free-kick to relieve some of the pressure.
82' Mepham has a chance to equalise from a corner, but his tame header again goes straight into Livakovic's grateful hands. Wales need to do better with one of these attempts.
81' One goal to score and nine minutes in which to score it. Can Wales pull off an unlikely comeback against the World Cup finalists?
R. Matondo
D. James
79' James comes off for Matondo in an attempt to equalise.
C. Roberts
77' Brooks made the space for himself, but someone had to pass to him initially! Roberts gets the assist.
D. Brooks
77' GOAAAL! 2-1! Brooks pulls a goal back out of nowhere! Croatia didn't expect that to find the back of the net and it wouldn't have, save for a deflection off Vida's head. Brooks makes space for himself out of the box, lines up a right-footed shot and the deflection wrong foots Livakovic.
M. Badelj
M. Kovačić
76' Kovacic - after another solid game on the ball - makes way for Badelj.
75' CHANCE! Bale lines one up from distance and he hits it with such power, but Livakovic gets down low to his right to push it past the post.
73' Wales have possession in a dangerous area with Allen getting into the box, but again his final ball is lacking and he can't pick out a team-mate. 
71' It's time for another cooling break. Wales have had their moments to score, but generally their passing has been second-best to Croatia and this is reflected in the fact that their passing accuracy in the second half is 73 per cent, down eight per cent from the first half. Croatia's, though, has risen to 89 per cent.
D. Vida
Yellow Card
69' Vida goes into the book for a late challenge on James. The Croatian sprints across the pitch to make that challenge, but he slightly mistimes it.
68' Brooks has had an excellent debut season in the Premier League with Bournemouth, scoring seven goals and making five assists. He's still only 21 with a bright future ahead of him. Perhaps he can get off the mark for Wales today and help drag them back into the game.
M. Pašalić
J. Brekalo
66' Croatia also make their first change, taking off Brekalo for Pasalic.
E. Ampadu
W. Vaulks
66' Vaulks also comes off for Ampadu, perhaps to add some extra defensive support.
D. Brooks
M. Smith
65' Wales make the first change of the game, bringing off Smith for the young Brooks.
64' Kramaric almost carves out another opportunity, but his touch is heavy just as he reaches the edge of the box and Wales can clear.
62' This has been the main issue in the game. Wales have created chances of their own, but all three have failed to seriously test Livakovic. Wilson, Vaulks and now Bale have all made it easy for the Croatian stopper.
60' LIVAKOVIC SAVES! Bale gets in behind the defence, taking Allen's excellent pass into his stride. Cutting inside, Bale shoots straight at Livakovic. He should be doing much better than that, but perhaps this is his lack of match action coming to the fore.
59' Here's Modric again switching the ball to the left flank and changing the point of attack.
57' It's almost impossible for Wales to get the ball off their hosts and Modric has been instrumental in this fantastic ball retention.
55' It's Bale to take the set piece, but it goes over the bar, much to the delight of the home crowd.
D. Lovren
Yellow Card
54' Lovren is shown a yellow card as his hand catches Bale in the face, giving away a free-kick in a dangerous position.
53' Croatia have started the second half with such brilliant energy and now lead 2-0. Dalic clearly had a word with his players during the break and they've responded just as he would want, perhaps putting the game out of Wales' reach.
51' Wales have lost three consecutive matches against Croatia following a 1-1 draw in the first game between the two sides in 2002. They haven't lost four consecutive games against a single opponent since June 2016, a loss to England completing a run of five defeats to the Three Lions. Now losing 2-0, it's looking unlikely that they'll turn this around.
T. Jedvaj
Yellow Card
50' Jedvaj is next to see a yellow card for a late challenge on Allen.
G. Bale
Yellow Card
48' Bale is shown a yellow card in the aftermath of the goal for dissent.
I. Perišić
48' GOAL! There it is! Croatia lead 2-0! They've started the second half with such relentless energy and capitalise on some sloppy Welsh defending. Wales try to clear, but Modric gets to the pass first and plays Kramaric into the box. Then Allen tries to get a foot in, but Modric again is there to shift the ball onto Perisic and the winger comfortably finishes under Hennessey with his left foot. It's a good finish, but it's a mess Wales create for themselves with some shambolic defending.
47' CHANCE FOR CROATIA! Modric releases Brekalo on the right, he cuts into the box - sending Davies every which way - and unleashes a fierce left-footed effort, but Hennessey makes a superb save with his legs!
46' Wales restart the action looking to overturn a one-goal deficit in Croatia.
The issue, though, is that Bale is isolated. Naturally he's the focal point of the attacking moves, but Wilson and James aren't close enough to him, nor does he have any support runs from midfield. It's been a tough game for the Real Madrid forward so far.
Croatia lead at the break through a Lawrence own goal after 17 minutes, but that's not to say they've been the far superior side. Despite dominating possession, they still haven't had a shot on target so far. Wales have struggled to win the ball off their hosts, but when they get close to goal, they're dangerous. They've had the two best chances - Livakovic saving from both Wilson and Vaulks in the 10th and 42nd minutes respectively. This game could go either way.
44' The Vaulks chances goes to show that Wales aren't down and out, despite their lack of possession. They still retain a threat if they can get the ball near the Croatian goal. The final pass is letting them down, though.
42' GREAT CHANCE! James is one-on-one with Jedvaj on the left, he beats his man and delivers a cross to the far post. Wilson brings it down and cuts the ball back into the arriving Vaulks, but he can't get a clean shot with his right foot and Livakovic saves.
40' The pace of play has slowed right down. Croatia are comfortable on the ball and they're patiently looking for the perfect opening. With a 1-0 lead, there's no urgency to their possession. 
38' Brekalo beats Davies, but his pass into Perisic sends him to the byline and it's a hard ask to get a shot away from such a tight position.
36' Allen now has the chance to pick a pass, but he loses the ball almost immediately and it leads to a Croatia counter-attack. Kramaric puts his right-footed shot wide of the post, though.
34' Croatia have Wales penned into their own half here. Modric is pulling the strings - he's wonderful to watch and so easily switches play from one side to another.
32' Brozovic sees the run of Brekalo out on the far side and he very nearly finds him with an excellent pass, but it's slightly too heavy and Wales have a goal-kick. Good vision from the midfielder.
31' Here's a chance for Bale to stretch his legs and he does out on the right flank. Vaulks takes over, but his cross is blocked and Croatia clear.
30' Wales are struggling to string a series of passes together. Whenever they reach the final third naturally they look for Bale's runs. Sometimes, though, there are better options. Maybe Giggs needs a rethink at half-time.
J. Brekalo
Yellow Card
28' Brekalo is shown a yellow card for clipping Bale's heels from behind.
27' Bale tries to get in behind to get on the end of a pass from Vaulks, but he's offside.
26' Due to the weather, the game will have regular cooling breaks. So, how about a stat? Croatia have faced Wales in Osijek once before, beating John Toshack's side 2-0 in a 2010 friendly thanks to goals from Ivan Rakitic and Drago Gabric. They lead 1-0 in the same venue today and look like scoring another.
24' Bale is writhing around on the floor clutching his ankle following a late challenge from Brozovic. The midfielder avoids a booking, though and Bale is up and moving.
22' Wales have a free-kick in their own half and it's a chance to hold on to the ball and perhaps create another goal-scoring opportunity.
21' As it's an own goal, Croatia still haven't had a shot on target in the game! Yet they lead 1-0.
19' While Wales have played well so far, they've only created the one chance that Wilson failed to convert. This is a wake-up call.
J. Lawrence
Own Goal
17' GOAAAL! Croatia lead 1-0 through an own goal! Modric finds Perisic with a phenomenal pass into the left-hand channel and the Inter winger cuts the ball back into the box - presumably for Kramaric - but Lawrence can do very little as his backwards momentum carries him into the ball's path and he puts it into his own net.
16' Although Wales have had under 30 per cent of the ball so far in the first half, they've had the best chance. Croatia will need to raise their game and find the killer pass in the final third.
14' That's a good chance for Croatia! Modric picks out Perisic unmarked in the centre of the box from a corner, but the winger shoots over again and fails to put Hennessey under pressure.
12' Wilson scored 16 goals in the Championship for Derby County this season and came very close to adding one for his country.
10' WHAT A CHANCE! Wilson shoots straight at Livakovic! Bale sees his run through the middle and finds him with a long throw, but Wilson shoots first time and couldn't find a corner. Such incisive play from Bale, though.
9' Perisic has looked dangerous so far and he gets the first shot of the game, shooting over the bar from inside the box. It never troubled Hennessey.
8' Kramaric tries to cut inside and run towards goal, but Mepham defends superbly and wins a goal-kick. That's fantastic defensive play from the Bournemouth centre-back.
8' Here's a chance for Wales to build an attacking move with James now in possession on the left flank. He passes inside and the move breaks down with Croatia now on the attack.
6' It'll be interesting to see how James gets on today. This is only his third cap for Wales, but he's an exciting prospect and one we'll get to see in the Premier League this season after completing his move from Swansea City to Manchester United. 
5' Perisic gets his first cross of the game into the box, but it's easy for Hennessey to come off his line and make a catch. 
3' Kramaric releases Kovacic, who tries to square the ball back into the middle for Perisic, but Wales clear.
2' Giggs seems to have changed his starting formation, moving into a 4-3-3 shape. James and Wilson push on to flank Bale while Vaulks drops deeper to join Allen and Smith in a three-man midfield.
1' Croatia are on the attack early on after a long pass from Lovren into Perisic out wide, but Wales usher the ball out for a throw.
1' Croatia get this European Championship qualifier started after a poignant minute of silence for both Lennart Johansson and Jose Antonio Reyes.
The teams are out, anthems are underway and we’re moments away from kick-off.
Despite not having played for Real Madrid since April, Bale was included in the Wales squad and rightfully so - the forward has had a hand in 12 goals in his last 14 appearances for the national team, including seven goal involvements in his last seven games.
Aaron Ramsey was excluded from the Wales squad through injury, but the big news is that Bale starts despite his lack of playing time. Davies also starts at left-back after his hernia surgery was delayed. Ivan Rakitic had to withdraw through injury for Croatia, which means Kovacic is drafted in to start after his role from the bench in Hungary in March. He’ll support Kramaric and play just in front of Modric and Brozovic.
SUBS: Ethan Ampadu, Sam Vokes, Ashley Williams, Dylan Levitt, Rabbi Matondo, Neil Taylor, Chris Gunter, Tom Lawrence, Adam Davies, David Brooks, Tom Lockyer, Danny Ward.
WALES XI (4-4-1-1): Wayne Hennessey; Connor Roberts, Chris Mepham, Jamie Lawrence, Ben Davies; Harry Wilson, Joe Allen, Matthew Smith, Daniel James; Will Vaulks; Gareth Bale.
SUBS: Filip Benkovic, Alen Halilovic, Milan Badelj, Dario Melnjak, Mile Skoric, Mario Pasalic, Karlo Bartolec, Lovre Kalinic, Bruno Petkovic, Simon Sluga, Duje Caleta-Car, Mijo Caktas.
CROATIA XI (4-2-3-1): Dominik Livakovic; Tin Jedvaj, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Borna Barisic; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic; Josip Brekalo, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Perisic; Andrej Kramaric.
However, this is still a Croatia squad stacked with talent - despite their injury withdrawals - and they haven’t lost a European Championship qualifying match at home since 1994, a 32-game run. They’re also unbeaten in all home matches since 2013 and will fancy their chances against Wales.
This is arguably the toughest game Wales will have to contend with in their qualifying campaign, but perhaps Ryan Giggs sees it as a chance to move three points ahead of an underwhelming Croatia side. Zlatko Dalic’s team have been vulnerable since losing the World Cup final - they were thrashed in Spain and failed to make the Nations League finals as well as losing a qualifier on the road in Hungary.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the European Championship qualifier between Croatia and Wales.