Live Commentary: Croatia 2-0 Wales - as it happened

Luka Modric of Croatia and Andy King of Wales
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary from the Group A World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Wales.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Wales.

Chris Coleman's side are looking to build on their 2-1 victory over Scotland last week, a result which kickstarted their Group A campaign.

They face a tough test in Ojisek this evening against a Croatia team who are unbeaten in the competition so far with two wins and a draw.

Wales have drafted in Andy King to replace the suspended Aaron Ramsey, while Darcy Blake makes the starting XI after shrugging off a leg injury.


9pmYou can read how all the action unfolded here. That's all from me tonight. Many thanks for joining us!

8.54pmWe'll have a full match report for you in just a moment.

94 minsFULL-TIME: Croatia 2-0 Wales There's the final whistle. It's been a completely one-sided affair that leaves Wales in fourth place in Group A and Croatia clear at the top for the time being.

93 minsChance! A late chance falls to Mandzukic, who shoots first time and is denied by Price.

90 minsThere will be four minutes added on for stoppages.

87 minsChance! A wonderful run from Bale. He left the Croatia defence for dead! Pletikosa keeps his shot out and Vokes's effort on the rebound is poor.

85 minsAnd now a late sub for Croatia: Vida comes on for Perisic.

83 minsWales sub: Hal Robson-Kanu on for Joe Ledley.

82 minsModric flashes the ball across goal, and Mandzukic is inches away from connecting for Croatia's third. Modric has played an absolute blinder!

81 minsStrinic goes into the book for a bad challenge in Church.

78 minsCroatia substitution: Kranjcar on for Eduardo. Premier League fans will no doubt remember him from his time with Spurs and Portsmouth.

77 minsAllen and Bale play a neat one-two, and the Spurs man plays a through-ball to Vokes, who should have gone for goal. He wins a corner as he's dispossessed, though.

74 minsChance! Oh my word! How did that stay out? There's huge goalmouth scrap after Eduardo hits the underside of the bar. The move ends with another great save from Price!

73 minsWales substitution: Sam Vokes in for Andy King. Coleman has thrown on an attacker in place of a midfielder. Looks like he intends to push Croatia in the latter stages.

67 minsChance! Wales have their best chance of the game as Allen whips in a perfect cross and Andy King heads towards goal, but Croatia keeper Pletikosa somehow keeps it out. Everyone in the ground thought that was in for a second!

64 minsIt was only a matter of time before that second Croatia goal went in. They've been even more dominant this half, and Eduardo has been a constant threat.

61 minsWales substitution: Simon Church replaces Steve Morrison.

58 minsGOAL! Croatia 2-0 Wales Eduardo puts the hosts further in front, tapping home after Price spills a header from Perisic.

57 minsChance! Price makes another save, this time from from Mandzukic. School yard level defending let the striker in, but Price kept him out.

55 minsChance! Price is forced to make another save as Eduardo powers into the box and shoots. The keeper spills the ball, but Wales clear the danger.

53 minsSrna squanders it, firing wide at the second time of asking.

52 minsGunter is booked for a late challenge. He's given away a free kick in a dangerous position.

51 minsGunter comes to Wales rescue with an all-important interception. Price gave the ball away with a poor clearance, and Croatia almost capitalised with good link-up played between Modric and Eduardo.

48 minsHalf-chance for Wales as Bale swings in a decent free kick, but Williams can only head wide.

47 minsChance! Modric's goal-bound effort is deflected wide by Williams. That was a vital block from him!

45 minsA half-time substitution for Croatia: Schildenfeld comes on for Lovren.

45 minsThe referee gets the second half under way.

7.59pmIf you've just joined us, you can catch up on all the action from the first half here.

7.52pmCroatia are looking formidable tonight, so it's difficult to imagine Wales getting a foothold in this game. Bale is their greatest attacking threat, so they need to get more balls to him in the second half while keeping the shutters up at the back.

7.48pmThere was an element of misfortune about the goal, which will no doubt frustrate Coleman considering the pressure the Welsh rearguard has withstood.

7.47pmIt's been one way traffic here tonight. Wales are fortunate that the deficit is only one goal, but you have to give them credit for the way they have defended.

45 minsIt's half-time here as the ref brings the first period to a close with virtually no stoppage time.

44 minsHalf-chance for Croatia as Modric tries to catch Price off his line, but gets far too much height on his lob.

39 minsChance! Wales survive a goalmouth scramble, which ends with Price pulling off a reaction stop to keep out Eduardo.

34 minsBale floats a free kick deep into the box but it's easily cleared.

30 minsChance! It should be 2-0! Strinic whips in the most inviting of crosses to Eduardo, who somehow fails to connect. A let off for Coleman's men.

28 minsHow very frustrating for Wales. They withstood so much pressure and then went 1-0 down to a soft goal. Price attempted to clear a poor backpass from Williams, but hit the ball straight at Mandzukic, and it fell very favourably for him. It was a tap-in in the end.

27 minsGOAL! Croatia 1-0 Wales Mandzukic puts the hosts in front with what was quite frankly a bizarre goal.

25 minsBale wins a free kick right on the edge of the Croatia box. Lovren is booked for bringing him down.

24 minsChance! Badelj with a powerful strike from 25 yards! Prices makes a top drawer save!

21 minsDavies is down injured and looks in some discomfort. Srna knocks the ball out in a nice display of sportsmanship.

20 minsChance! Bale dances around the Croatia back line and shoots from range. It drifts wide of the post, but that's easily Wales' best move of the match.

17 minsRakitic finds space on the edge of the area and has a go but fails to trouble Price despite his effort taking a wicked bounce.

14 minsGood build-up play from the hosts sees Modric played into the box. He goes down and appeals for a penalty, but the ref is having none of it. Correct decision, but Stimac does not agree!

12 minsBale gets his first opportunity to shine inside the Croatia half. He bursts down the flank but is dispossessed. Wales win a throw.

10 minsChance! Croatia's captain Srna hits a free kick from outside the area and forces Price into a save. The shot-stopper did well to tip that one around the post.

7 minsRakitic with a stinging shot, but it's blocked. Eduardo's follow-up is calmly collected by Price in the Wales goal.

6 minsDavies concedes the first corner of the game as Croatia keep up the pressure. They are still seeing a lot of the ball.

5 minsEduardo surges forward, but his pass fails to find Mandzukic. Wales clear the danger.

3 minsWales are hardly getting a touch of the ball at the moment. The pitch is in a bit of a sorry state, which is not helping.

1 minWe're under way here!

6.58pmA quick prediction before we begin. I think a win is a big ask for the Welsh tonight, so I'm going with a 3-0 Croatia.

6.55pmThe two teams are out on the pitch here in Ojisek and are lining up for the national anthems.

6.52pmThe form guide isn't in Wales' favour tonight either. Stimac's side are unbeaten at home in 10 games, with England being the last team to beat them in their own backyard. Wales generally don't travel well having lost six of their last seven away.

6.50pmChris Coleman: "I know the finger has been pointed at Gareth once or twice but he didn't dive on Friday. He was running at great pace and the back of his heel was clipped. I know it is a big debate in the game at the moment, simulation but flip a coin and ask in a game how many times does Gareth get booted, stopped, and the foul is not in the rules but players get away with it. If anything you need referees to understand the way that defenders are trying to bend the rules to prevent him from doing the things he is capable of."

6.50pmIgor Stimac: "The points against Wales are as important as those we have already won. We will do all that is necessary in order to win them, and regardless of the Welsh optimism after beating Scotland, do not expect a different outcome. We must take initiative to control the game and force Wales to continually defend and thus thwart their creativity. Victory is our obligation."

6.49pmSo as you can see, Chris Coleman's side are the clear underdogs tonight, but when you have players like Gareth Bale in your side there is always a glimmer of hope. Manger quotes coming up...

6.48pmThe odds for tonight: Croatia 2/7, Wales 10/1, Draw 4/1.

6.47pmIt's a huge night for the Welsh. They gave themselves a lifeline in this group with last week's 2-1 win over Scotland in Cardiff, but top seeded Croatians promise to pose a greater threat.

6.45pmWales: Price; Gunter, Williams, Blake, Davies; Allen, Vaughan, King, Bale, Ledley; Morison

6.44pmCroatia: Pletikosa; Strinic, Simunic, Lovren; Rakitic, Modric, Srna, Badelj, Perisic; Eduardo, Mandzukic

6.42pmGood evening and welcome to our live coverage of the Group A World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Wales. Teams coming right up...


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