Wales 1-1 Croatia: As it happened
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56' Tin Jedvaj squanders the chance too regain an advantage as he misjudges Vlasic's cross from the right flank.
Second half begins
45' Gareth Bale kick us off for the second half.
Lift off in Cardiff
Half time
Wales 1-1 Croatia

Gareth Bale's goal restores much needed parity before the half time whistle for Wales. Nikola Vaslic's opener set the tone for much of the first half.

It was a savvy and professional performance from Croatia who dominated in the half through Luka Modric who's been pulling the strings.

Wales answered the home fans' cries and went direct in the final five minutes. Kieffer Moore cut a frustrated figure for the most part but he came alive a the end of the half.

45+4' A booking for Lovren means he'll be suspended for their next final qualifier.

 

GOAL
45+3' Wales 1-1 Croatia

Gareth Bales has his goal! Ben Davies powers through the heart of the Croatian midfield, wins the ball back before feeding Bale who peeled off Dejan Lovren's shoulder. Bale shows great composure to sweep underneath Dominik Livakovic. Massive goal.

45' Additional time of four minutes.
43' After a post World Cup hangover, Croatia look to have rediscovered the form they showed last summer. They're making it look easy in Cardiff, not giving Wales in an inch to work in.
39' Ampadou's miss-hit pass sums up Wales' invention this half. A simple pass down the right flank to Conor Roberts would have unlocked the Croatian backline.
36' Wales are missing a creative spark here. Without the injured Aaron Ramsey and David Brooks, their heavy reliance on Jonny Williams is evident. 

Croatia look comfortable as they keep the ball ticking over in midfield.

33' An indirect Ben Davies free kick comes to nothing. Wales haven't made use of their dead balls so far this half.
32' Joe Rodon is keeping the experienced Ashley Williams out the side. The fully fit Bristol City defender will feel disappointed because of his club form but Rodon has kept the high standards he's set himself since breaking into the first team.
29' Wales are losing the ball far too easily when they manage to get into the final third. Bale most recently ran into a more congested area instead of backing himself to beat Borna Barisic on the left wing. 
28' Play is momentarily halted as a fan makes his way onto the pitch.
26' Wales can't afford to sit behind the ball and let Croatia pass their way through the lines. Perisic gets into a dangerous position but Davies recovers well to deny him a clean shot at goal.
Growing into it
23' Modric works the ball towards the right flank but Tin Jedvaj fails to produce in a promising wide area. His cross is cleared by Ampadou.
21' Wales are getting back up to speed now with Jonny Williams and Bale in particular setting the standards.

Dan James' corner comes to nothing but having him on the pitch, and smilingly healthy is a big bonus for Giggs and Wales.

19' It comes to nothing as Bale strikes the ball into the Croatian wall. He'll be disappointed with that one. Petokovic is back up after taking the shot to the face.
Free kick
19' Gareth Bale will set his sights 14 yards from goal as Kieffer Moore wins a free kick under a challenge from Luka Modric.
18' Croatia have dominated the ball at 81% as we come up to the first twenty minutes in Cardiff.
15' James is now up on his feet after taking what looked like a knee to the head. Made of some strong stuff that lad!
Nasty clash
14' Dan James' well-being is in question here. The medical staff rush towards him as he drops to the floor after challenging with Domagoj Vida in the air. The Besiktas defender recieves a yellow cards for his troubles.
12' Hennessey keeps Wales in the tie. Ivan Perisic ghosts into the box and heads towards the far post but the Crystal Palace goalkeeper manages to tip his effort around the post.
11' Ryan Giggs will be frustrated as his side looked a solid, well drilled unit behind the ball. The first time space was afforded it was costly.
GOAL
9' Wales 0-1 Croatia

Nikola Vlasic comes up with the goods after Petkovic shifts the ball back to the CSKA forward ten yards from goal. He fires the ball across Wayne Hennessey as the ball goes in off the post

8' Penalty shout for Wales. Dejan Lovren forcefully shoulder barges the oncoming Dan James inside the penalty box. those appeals are swiftly waved away.
7' Joe Allen and Gareth Bale are both a booking away from a suspension. When either of them play well so do Wales.
4' Modric is operating very deep, dictating possession for the away side. Only four Welsh players have touched the ball so far.
3' Conor Roberts tucks in to clear the danger Bruno Petkovic posed when he held the ball up in the penalty area.
2' Ethan Ampadou puts in a foot to regain the ball for Wales as Croatia have enjoyed all the ball in the opening stages.
1' Croatia have never won at the Cardiff City stadium, and what a night it could be to change that. They only need one more win to qualify for EURO 2020.
Kick-off
We’re underway for the first half in Cardiff.

Wales are in their classic home strip of all red, with Croatia changed in a black and navy chequered away kit.

National anthems
15 minute countdown
Gareth believes
Bale knows his side can thrive off the underdog tag.

"We've had some great results against big teams at home," he said.

"We believe in ourselves. We feel no matter who we come up against we can come up with a plan to beat them.

"We have great players and a great team, and if we put in a performance we can beat anybody."

Big blow
Aaron Ramsey will not feature due to a calf strain. Ryan Giggs was hopeful the Juventus man would play some part in tonight's qualifier.
In conversation
Team News
Ryan Giggs has named an unchanged side to face Croatia.

Wales: Hennessey, Rodon, Davies, Allen, Bale, Moore, Roberts, Ampadou, Lockyer, Williams, James.

Croatia: Livakovic, Barisic, Perisic, Lovren, Kovacic, Modric, Vlasic, Jedvaj, Brekalo, Petkovic, Vida. 

Party time for Croatia
Croatia can all but confirm their place at next summer's European championships with a win in Cardiff. It will be their sixth appearance in the competition.
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How to watch
Wales vs Croatia is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football. Coverage begins at 19:15 GMT.
Uphill task
Here’s a stat attack that makes for grim reading, Wales fans:

Croatia are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 in all intentional competitions.

Croatia have scored at least two goals in their last four meetings against Wales.

Croatia have won their last four matches against Wales.

The last time these two met in Wales
The first and last time Croatia made the journey to Wales, Eduardo stole the points for the visitors in a World Cup qualifying tie three minutes from time at the Liberty Stadium.

 

That 2-1 defeat ended any lingering possible of Wales qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

The form guide
Wales have disappointed in their EURO 2020 qualification campaign, only winning two home ties each by a slender goal. Away defeats in Croatia and more so Hungary have made the natives restless.

 

A draw in Slovakia stopped the rot, but it was a must win in every sense, in Trnava. Wales must make use of their home advantage as they welcome Croatia to the Cardiff City Stadium.

 

Croatia have impressed in qualifying, scoring 11 goals in the four games they’ve won in Group E. Though, they’ve taken hits on the road, losing in Hungary and being held up in Azerbaijan was hardly ideal. In fact the Croats have only won one of their last four away from home in all international competitions.

 

Early team news
Ryan Giggs looks set to name an unchanged starting side that drew in Slovakia as Aaron Ramsey remains a doubt.


Ramsey wasn't fit enough to make the squad for the trip to Slovakia but Giggs will be keen to rush him back for this crucial game.


Croatia will have to deal without the suspended Marcelo Brozovic. Though Zlatko Dalic is blessed with midfield options, with Mateo Kovacic likley to replace the Inter Milan man.

Bleak outlook
Wales have three EURO 2020 qualifiers left, but are tasked with finishing in the top two of Group E. Ryan Giggs' side are three points behind second place as things stand but face group leaders Croatia tonight.

 

Croatia are three points clear in Group E and are unbeaten in their last four qualifiers. The World Cup finalists will travel to Cardiff to play their penultimate qualifier.

Kick-off time
The Wales vs Croatia match will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium, in Wales. The kick-off is scheduled at 19:45 GMT.
Welcome
Welcome to VAVEL.com’s LIVE coverage of the match: Wales vs Croatia.

My name is John Townley and I’ll be your host for this game. We will provide you with pre-game analysis, roster updates, and news as it happens live here on VAVEL

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