Cymru held FIFA World Cup finalists Croatia to a 1-1 draw in the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier in Cardiff after Gareth Bale cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s early opener with a goal in first-half added time.
Cymru 1-1 Croatia
UEFA EURO 2020 QUALIFIER - GROUP E
- Sunday, 13 October 2019
- Cardiff City Stadium
In order to qualify, Cymru will need to win in Azerbaijan next (16 November) and hope for a favour from Croatia to beat Slovakia – or for Slovakia to drop points in their final match against Azerbaijan. Wales will also need to win their final Group E match against Hungary (19 November).
If Cymru and Slovakia were to finish level on points, Ryan Giggs’ team would qualify due to a better head-to-head record following the 1-0 home win back in March and last Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Trnava.
It was a resolute performance from Cymru but were dealt a blow on 8 minutes when Croatia showed their class when Josip Brekalo took advantage of the space left by Cymru to play the ball to Bruno Petkovic. When Vlasic received the ball into his path from Petkovic, he struck the ball into the net off the post.
Cymru grew into the game but as the first half drew to a close, they looked ready for half-time to regroup. However, as Ben Davies powerfully ran forward - on the night he won his 50th cap - he provided a fantastic ball for Bale to exquisitely finish to draw Cymru level.
It was a rough and tough match with hefty and questionable challenges with Joe Allen and Ethan Ampadu both receiving head injuries. Whilst James was able to continue, Ampadu had to be substituted.
Cymru will be without Joe Allen for the trip to Baku next month after receiving a yellow card late in the match.
Wales: Hennessey; C Roberts, Lockyer, Rodon, B Davies; Ampadu (Morrell 49’), Allen; Bale (C), J Williams (Wilson 67’), James; Moore (T Roberts 86).
Subs not used: Ward, A Davies, Gunter, Taylor, A Williams, Vokes, Lawrence, Matondo, Vaulks. Goal: Bale 45+3’ Yellow cards: Moore 57’, Allen 86’, James 90+6’
Croatia: Livakovic; Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Barisic; Modric (C) (Badelj 89), Kovacic (Rakitic 46’); Perisic, Vlasic, Brekalo; Petkovic (Rebic 63’). Subs not used: Kalinic, Sluga, Meljnak, Peric, Orsic, Bradaric, Skoric, Pasalic, Bartolec. Goal: Vlasic 9’
Yellow cards: Vida 15’, Lovren 45+3’, Petkovic 47’, Rakitic 85’, Modric 88’