Cymru vs. Croatia | 2024 European Championship – Qualifying Round – Grp D

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      Live ReportMatch Summary

      1. Match summary

        This was a classic Cymru performance. One of the very finest. There was so much on the game and exactly 10 years to the day that Harry Wilson made his Cymru debut, he scored two incredible goals to drag them back into contention for qualification to UEFA EURO 2024.

        In Group D, Cymru are level on points with Croatia. However, Cymru’s head-to-head record against Croatia puts Rob Page’s team into second place with the advantage.

        Cymru approached the game with energetic positivity and in the first half Wilson looked hungry and came close to scoring. However, Dominik Livaković was on form in between the Croatian goalposts and pulled off a fine save to deny Wilson. The Croatian shot stopper was also on hand to deny Nico Williams’ strike after he cut inside and looked likely to break the deadlock.

        It was more of the same from Cymru in the second half and Wilson pounced in the 47th minute to send the noise levels inside Cardiff City Stadium off the scale. David Brooks played Wilson through before he delicately lifted the ball over Livaković.

        His second goal was just as beautiful as he got on the end of Dan James’ cross with a glancing header to make it 2-0.

        Cymru were made to sweat before the full-time whistle was blown as Mario Pašalić pulled a goal back. However, Cymru were not going to pass on these three points with every player turning in a battling performance to secure the win.

      2. That was an unbelievable match. An incredible performance.

      3. This is how things stand in Group D.

        Following a 4-0 victory against Latvia, Türkiye have qualified for EURO 2024. Meanwhile, Cymru move into second place due to their head-to-head against Croatia.

      4. FULL-TIME

        CYMRU 2-1 CROATIA

        An incredible performance from Cymru. One that will go down as a classic.

      5. Danny Ward takes the pressure off as he dives through the air to collect the ball from a Croatia cross.

      6. There will be 5 minutes of added time.

      7. Yellow card

        MARCELO BROZOVIĆ

      8. Yellow card

        JAMES Jordan Anthony

      9. Cymru win a corner as it’s their turn to apply some pressure.

      10. Luka Modrić is running the show for Croatia but when he strikes from outside the box it goes over the bar to relieve some pressure on Cymru.

      11. Croatia putting Cymru under some pressure here as they search for an equaliser.

      12. Standing ovation from The Red Wall as Harry Wilson leaves the pitch for Nathan Broadhead.

      13. Substitution

        BROADHEAD Nathan Paul replaces WILSON Harry

      14. Goal

        MARIO PAŠALIĆ

      15. Croatia have grabbed a goal back from a corner as Mario Pašalić heads in at the far post. It’s 2-1.

        Big 15 coming up.

      16. Luka Modrić is set free in the box but is thwarted by the Cymru defence.

      17. Ben Davies releases Dan James up the left. James cuts inside to shoot but his strike curls wide.

      18. Goal

        WILSON Harry

      19. GÔÔÔÔL!!!!

        Cymru 2-0 Croatia

        Sublime! Harry Wilson scores his and Cymru’s second after some superb play. Dan James supplied the cross and Wilson just softly placed his flicked header in the net.

      20. Substitution

        BORNA SOSA replaces BORNA BARIŠIĆ

      21. That moment!

      22. Substitution

        JAMES Daniel Owen replaces BROOKS David

      23. David Brooks leaves the field with an injury and is replaced by Dan James.

      24. Jordan James showing some incredible skill to skip around the Croatian team. He crosses for Kieffer Moore but Croatia survive the scare.

      25. Goal

        WILSON Harry

      26. GÔÔÔÔL!!!!

        Harry Wilson dinks the ball over the keeper to give Cymru the lead. What a start to the second half.
        On the day he earns his 50th cap too.

      27. Substitution

        DION DRENA BELJO replaces PETAR MUSA

      28. Substitution

        MARIO PAŠALIĆ replaces JOSIP BREKALO

      29. Substitution

        JOSIP STANIŠIĆ replaces JOSIP JURANOVIĆ

      30. The match is back underway at Cardiff City Stadium in this UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier.
        Croatia have made a triple substitution at the break.

        A big half ahead for both teams.

      31. Half-time summary:

        It was a positive and energetic first-half from Cymru who really took the game to Croatia. This is a must win match for Rob Page’s team if they are to maintain a hope of automatic qualification to EURO 2024.

        The best two chances of the half came from Harry Wilson, whose free kick was denied by a fantastic save from Dominik Livaković and Neco Williams cut inside for a strike but was also denied by the Croatian goalkeeper.

        Rob Page will want to see more of the same in the second half.

      32. Half-time:

        Cymru 0-0 Croatia

      33. Kieffer Moore plays a through ball for Harry Wilson but under the physical presence of a Croatian defender he’s unable to get enough contact on the ball to cause Livaković any trouble.

      34. Patient build-up play from Cymru who are looking for ways through the Croatia defence. When Neco Williams cuts inside to shoot, they thought they’d done it but the Croatian keeper makes a crucial save.

      35. Wilson takes the free kick and it is so, so close to giving Cymru the lead. Dominik Livaković makes the save and tips it away for a corner kick.

      36. Yellow card

        DOMAGOJ VIDA

      37. Big moment in the game as Harry Wilson is taken down on the edge of the box after being played in on goal. It’s a free kick and Croatia keep 11 players on the pitch as there was defensive cover.

      38. Croatia’s best chance so far is a headed effort from Petar Musa, who met the ball from the right but directs his effort over Danny Ward’s crossbar.

      39. Your Cymru.

      40. A lovely attack from Cymru sees Harry Wilson go close. This has been an energetic start in a game that Cymru must win.

      41. It’s been a positive start from Cymru in the opening exchanges and The Red Wall are in fine voice.

      42. KICK OFF!

        Cymru get this qualifier underway.

      43. Together Stronger.

        Aaron Ramsey is out injured but he’s come along to support his teammates and take a few selfies with The Red Wall.

      44. Harry Wilson earns his 50th cap here tonight, after making his debut 10 years ago against Belgium in October 2013 at the age of 16.

      45. Ben Davies will captain’s Cymru again tonight against Croatia. The defender scored against Gibraltar in Wrexham on Wednesday.

      46. Many fans have already arrived at the stadium ahead of this UEFA European Qualifier.
        The Red Wall can play a pivotal role here tonight by getting behind Rob Page and his Cymru team.

      47. Here’s the state of play and permutations for Group D.

        This evening’s fixtures are Türkiye vs Latvia and Cymru vs Croatia.

        Türkiye will qualify if they beat Latvia or if Türkiye draw and Cymru do not win against Croatia.

        Cymru will be out of contention to finish in the top two if they lose and Türkiye do not.

        Latvia cannot finish in the top two.

      48. Can’t make it to Cardiff City Stadium?

        You can watch the game live on S4C from 7.15pm or listen to commentary on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru from 7.00pm.

      49. Check out the qualifying story so far with highlights of Cymru’s European Qualifier matches on RedWall+. Get the app here or visit redwallplus.wales to watch now.

        You’ll also find exclusive documentaries on RedWall+ and all the pre-match content you could need ahead of the game against Croatia tonight.

      50. The Cymru squad completed their pre-match preparations yesterday with manager Rob Page confirming that defender Chris Mepham would be fit to play against Croatia.

        “We were never going to play him against Gibraltar,” said Page. “That was an opportunity to give players caps and minutes and we have a fit Meps now. We have no injury concerns so the plan has worked.”

      51. Italian Davide Massa will take charge of the EURO 2024 qualifier between Cymru and Croatia in Cardiff this evening.

        The 42-year old has been a FIFA referee since 2014 and last month officiated the international friendly between Scotland and England at Hampden Park.

        Filippo Meli and Stefano Alassio are the assistant referees while Matteo Marcenaro is the fourth official. Marco Di Bello will be the VAR and he will be assisted by Luca Pairetto. All of the officials are from Italy.

      52. Ben Davies will captain Cymru against Croatia on Sunday and spoke to the media on Saturday of the crucial EURO 2024 qualifier.

        “I’m always proud to wear the armband for Wales,” said Davies. “But we have to be fully in control of our emotions. We knew what we were coming into before this camp. We were targeting three wins so not a lot has changed, starting with a tough one against Croatia tomorrow. They’re a world-class team, they’ve shown that for a long time now, but we have to believe we can get a result, and we’ve been working all week towards that.

        “We’re very supportive of the manager and we’re a very tight-knit group, and that’s why we’ve had the success that we’ve had. That’s why we’re all behind him. We stick together in the good times and the tough times. The manager creates a good, professional and enjoyable environment, we’ve got a manager who backs us and deserves our support now. We just need to concentrate on a big game tomorrow.”

      53. Cymru manager Rob Page spoke to the media on Saturday afternoon following the final training session before his side take on Croatia in Cardiff.

        “We have no concerns, the plan has worked,” Page explained when asked about the fitness of his squad. “Club and country worked together to get Meps (Chris Mepham) fit. We were never going to play him against Gibraltar and that gave an opportunity to give players caps and minutes. We probably have to win all three games but we have to take it one game at a time. We can only control what we can control with three games left.

        “They’ve got strength in depth, its not all about Modric. We know we’re in for a tough, tough test on Sunday. It’s massive for us to be in Cardiff for the first of these remaining three games. The atmosphere we create there is incredible. We’re off the back of a very positive camp against Korea and Latvia, we had a positive performance against Gibraltar. The mood in the camp is great and I cant wait for the game on Sunday evening.

        “Were in a transition period, we’ve seen the other the young talent coming through and with what the U21 team did last night, its going to take time and that’s why we signed a four-year contract. I’m doing what’s best for the FAW in the long-term in introducing the young players the way we are.”

      54. Türkiye were the big winners in Group D on Thursday night as a goal from Barış Alper Yılmaz was enough to earn his side an impressive 1-0 win away to top seeds Croatia and with it move his side to the top of the group.

        Elsehwere, Latvia claimed their first points of the campaign with a 2-0 win over Armenia through goals from Jānis Ikaunieks and Daniels Balodis. Cymru and Armenia are now tied on seven points in the group.

        The action continues on Sunday night as Türkiye host Latvia and Cymru take on Croatia in Cardiff.

      55. Cymru and Croatia will meet for the eighth time when the two nations come together in Cardiff on Sunday evening, but while Cymru are still searching for their first victory in a fixture that first took place back in August 2002, the points have been shared in the last two games.

        That first meeting took place in Varaždin as a late equaliser from Mladen Petrić earned Croatia a point after Simon Davies had put Cymru ahead in a friendly. The two sides then met in Osijek in another friendly in May 2010 in Osijek, but goals from Ivan Rakitić and Drago Gabric resulted in a 2-0 defeat for John Toshack’s side.

        The first competitive match between Cymru and Croatia was during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying as Chris Coleman’s side were defeated 2-0 in Osijek by goals from Mario Mandžukić and Eduardo either side of half-time. The return match in Swansea would also end in defeat for Cymru despite Gareth Bale putting his side ahead from the penalty spot as Dejan Lovren and Eduardo ensured the visitors would complete the double over their opponents.

        An own goal from James Lawrence and a second from Ivan Perišić earned Croatia a 2-1 victory in Osijek in June 2019 as the two nations met in EURO 2020 qualifying with David Brooks scoring the consolation goal in the second half. In the return match a few months later, Cymru went behind to an early goal from Nikola Vlašić in Cardiff, but Bale equalised to earn his side a point in the 1-1 draw.

        Most recently, Nathan Broadhead was the injury-time hero for Cymru in the opening match of the current qualifying campaign as his debut goal earned his side a share of the points in another 1-1 draw in March. Andrej Kramarić had put Croatia ahead after 28 minutes, but Cymru stayed in the game to claim an impressive result.

        “I’m a bit overwhelmed to be honest,” said Broadhead (below) “It’s a bit emotional as I’ve waited for this moment for so long.”

      56. Cymru manager Rob Page confirmed after the 4-0 win against Gibraltar on Wednesday that Joe Low and Charlie Savage (both below) would remain with the senior squad for the EURO 2024 qualifier against Croatia.

        “We’ll keep Sav and Joe and that’s not just off the back of that performance tonight,” said Page. “They’ve done themselves a world of good. With the injuries we’ve got, Sav’s earned the right to be with us and big Joe, I’ve got a lot of time for him. Keeping them in the squad will benefit us.”

        Both players impressed on their senior debuts as Page named an experimental starting line-up with one eye very much on Sunday’s huge match with Croatia in Cardiff, with Low keeping a clean-sheet at the back and Savage providing the assist for the first of Kieffer Moore’s two goals in the convincing victory.

        Meanwhile, Wes Burns has left the squad following the shoulder injury he sustained early in the match against Gibraltar on Wednesday night.

      57. There is no live report available for this match

      Lineups

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