Cymru 2-1 Croatia
- A stunning statement performance from Cymru
- Harry Wilson scores two in his 50th appearance
- Cymru move to second in group
- Rob Page’s team will play Armenia and Türkiye in November
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.
Wales captain Ben Davies told BBC Radio Wales: “It’s a big result for us. Our backs were against the wall and we knew what we had to do coming into the game. It’s a big night but it means nothing if we don’t back it up next month.
“We’ve shown our spirit over and over again. We came out tonight and put a good performance in. We know we’ve got that connection with them (the fans).”
Rob Page told S4C: “From the first minute right to the 95th, we had to dig deep. With the help of the supporters, we have made it another great night for the lads.
“The boys dug deep. Their attitude again in this camp has been incredible.
“Everything’s okay. I can’t praise them enough. I think seven of them are not starting at their clubs, but they put the Welsh jersey on and they play like that. They want to come and they enjoy it.
”I couldn’t be any more proud of them. Actions speak louder than words.”
“I get emotional because I’m so proud of them and they deserve all the plaudits they are going to get. We can’t wait to meet up for the next game.”
Harry Wilson also spoke to S4C and said: ”It was a big night for me personally, representing my country 50 times is something I couldn’t have dreamt of.
“Tonight wasn’t about me, it was about the team. We’re always confident in the quality we’ve got in the group.”