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National Teams

Wales defeated in Osijek

Croatia back to
winning ways

Croatia back to winning ways
photo by: HNS
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Zlatko Dalić's men secured another three points on their way towards the EURO 2020, defeating Wales 2:1 in Osijek.

CROATIA - WALES 2:1 (1:0)
EURO 2020 qualifier, Group E.
Gradski Vrt Stadium, Osijek.

Referee: I. Kovacs (Romania)

Goals: 1:0 - Lawrence (17' - og), 2:0 - Perišić (48'), 2:1 - Brooks (77')

Cautions: Brekalo (28'), Bale (49'), Jedvaj (50'), Lovren (54'), Vida (69'), Brozović (90+2')

Croatia: Livaković, Barišić, Vida, Lovren, Jedvaj, Brozović, Modrić, Perišić (90+3' Škorić), Kovačić (76' Badelj), Brekalo (67' Pašalić), Kramarić. Head coach: Z. Dalić.

Wales: Hennessey, Davies, Lawrence, Mepham, Roberts, Smith (65' Brooks), Allen, James (79' Matondo), Vaulks (66' Ampadu), Wilson, Bale. Head coach: R. Giggs.

Following two 2:0 victories over Wales in Osijek, in 2010 and 2012, Croatia managed to secure another win against the same opponent. This Saturday, the scoreboard was showing a 2:1 Croatia victory.

In front of the full crowd, 17.000 spectators, the match begun with a moment of silence in memory of the former UEFA president Lennart Johansson and two young girls that tragically passed away in the car accident near Novska.

photo by: HNS

In the opening minutes, Croatia took control which resulted in Perišić and Kramarić efforts, but it was Wales defender Lawrence that diverted Perišić's cross on 17 minutes to give the World Cup runners-up the lead.

Before half-time, Kramarić tried with a curling effort, with Vaulks and Davies responding seconds before the break - it was Livaković that saved Croatia's net.

Just after the second half kick-off, Hennessey intervened when Brekalo was presented with an opportunity, while Kovačić scored on the rebound, only to be denied by an offside decision. However, a minute later, Perišić converted another rebound to make it 2:0 to Croatia.

photo by: HNS

Later on, Bale had three promising chances for Wales, but failed to find the target or beat Livaković. On 77 minutes, though, Brooks' shot was deflected by Vida and crossed the line (2:1).

Kramarić could have sealed Croatia's victory in the dramatic closing minutes, and Brooks could have scored the equalizer on the other side, but Livaković denied him.

In the remaining June qualifiers in Group E, Azerbaijan hosts Hungary and Slovakia, and Hungary hosts Wales, while Croatia is to play a Tunisia friendly in Varaždin on 11 June.

EURO 2020 qualifying, Group E:
1. Croatia 6 (3)
2. Slovakia 3 (2)
3. Wales 3 (2)
4. Hungary 3 (2)
5. Azerbaijan 0 (1)

photo by: HNS

Euro 2020. - qualifiers, 08.06.2019., Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek
Referees: Kovacs Istvan (ROU), Marinescu Vasile Florin (ROU), Artene Mihai Ovidiu (ROU)
Fourth referee: Avram Ionut Marius (ROU)
1Dominik Livaković1Wayne Hennessey
3Borna Barišić4Ben Davies
4Ivan Perišić
5Chris Mepham
6Dejan Lovren
7Joe Allen
7Josip Brekalo
8Matthew Smith
8Mateo Kovačić
10Harry Wilson
9Andrej Kramarić11Gareth Bale
10Luka Modrić14Connor Roberts
11Marcelo Brozović
15James Lawrence
16Tin Jedvaj
20Daniel James
21Domagoj Vida
23Will Vaulks
12Lovre Kalinić12Danny Ward
23Simon Sluga21Adam Davies
2Dario Melnjak2Chris Gunter
5Duje Ćaleta-Car3Neil Taylor N. Taylor
13Mile Škorić
6Ashley Williams A. Williams
14Filip Benković9Sam Vokes
15Mario Pašalić
13Dylan Levitt
17Alen Halilović16David Brooks
18Mijo Caktaš17Rabbi Matondo
19Milan Badelj
18Ethan Ampadu
20Bruno Petković19Tom Lawrence
22Karlo Bartolec22Tom Lockyer
Zlatko Dalic ((CRO))Ryan Giggs ((WAL))

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić and team captain Luka Modrić held a press conference regarding the upcoming European qualifier against Wales.

Zlatko Dalić

"After seven practice sessions, including both defensive and attacking actions, we have no right to wait and defend in front of the home crowd. Our chance lies in ball possession, which is dangerous and we have to stay focused and responsible. Due to heat, we will not be able to press the opponent, and it will not be an easy task. There is always pressure on Croatia, especially following the loss in Hungary. Now we need 15 more points to reach EURO 2020, and Wales is our first opportunity. Gareth Bale has always been their main threat, and he is well-supported in attack. Welsh forwards are really quick, and caution is required"

Luka Modrić

"We expect a really tough match. Wales is probably the best team in the group, alongside Croatia, and we cannot afford any mistakes following the loss to Hungary. We are interested only in victory. We have positive experience from Osijek and enjoy a phenomenal support here, which is important. We have been preparing for the heat, and I personally like to play early. I hope there will be no problems. Every Croatia international is ready to respond to the challenge and prove his worth, with Wales being a well-organized team with quality individuals besides Gareth Bale. We respect them all, and they know how to win qualifying matches. I'll speak to Gareth after the match, and knowing how much playing for Wales means to him, I expect him in top form. I can only hope we can manage to stop him"

foto: Arhiva HNS