A late Wales revival in Croatia proved in vain as Ryan Giggs’ side suffered a setback in their bid to reach Euro 2020.

The hosts, who have never lost at home in European Championship qualifying, took the lead in the searing Osijek heat as James Lawrence turned Ivan Perisic’s powerful, low cross into his own net.

Wales threatened to level but always looked vulnerable at the back and one episode of particularly calamitous defending early in the second half allowed Perisic to score the World Cup finalists’ second goal.

Gareth Bale fanned the flames of a Welsh comeback with a handful of well-struck shots, and those faint hopes looked more like genuine belief when substitute David Brooks scored from 20 yards via a deflection.

But despite their late efforts in severely draining conditions – with a stretching Brooks agonisingly close to scoring a second – Wales fell short of snatching what would have been a valuable point.

Having beaten Slovakia in their opening fixture in March, Wales are now third in Group E, three points behind leaders and top seeds Croatia.

On Tuesday Giggs’ men visit Hungary, who are away against Azerbaijan in the group’s late kick-off on Saturday.

More follows.

Line-ups

Croatia

  • 1Livakovic
  • 16JedvajBooked at 50mins
  • 6LovrenBooked at 54mins
  • 21VidaBooked at 69mins
  • 3Barisic
  • 10Modric
  • 11BrozovicBooked at 90mins
  • 7BrekaloBooked at 28minsSubstituted forPasalicat 66′minutes
  • 8KovacicSubstituted forBadeljat 76′minutes
  • 4PerisicSubstituted forSkoricat 90+3′minutes
  • 9Kramaric

Substitutes

  • 2Melnjak
  • 5Caleta-Car
  • 12L Kalinic
  • 13Skoric
  • 14Benkovic
  • 15Pasalic
  • 17Halilovic
  • 18Caktas
  • 19Badelj
  • 20Petkovic
  • 22Bartolec
  • 23Sluga

Wales

  • 1Hennessey
  • 14Roberts
  • 5Mepham
  • 15Lawrence
  • 4Davies
  • 23VaulksSubstituted forAmpaduat 66′minutes
  • 7Allen
  • 8SmithSubstituted forBrooksat 65′minutes
  • 11BaleBooked at 48mins
  • 10Wilson
  • 20JamesSubstituted forMatondoat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Williams
  • 9Vokes
  • 12Ward
  • 13Levitt
  • 16Brooks
  • 17Matondo
  • 18Ampadu
  • 19Lawrence
  • 21Davies
  • 22Lockyer
Referee:
István Kovács

Match Stats

Home TeamCroatiaAway TeamWales
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home10
Away10
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Croatia 2, Wales 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Croatia 2, Wales 1.

Foul by Mile Skoric (Croatia).

Ethan Ampadu (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Mario Pasalic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mile Skoric.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia. Mile Skoric replaces Ivan Perisic.

Delay in match because of an injury Ivan Perisic (Croatia).

Booking

Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia).

Rabbi Matondo (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. David Brooks (Wales) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gareth Bale.

Attempt saved. Andrej Kramaric (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mario Pasalic with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Harry Wilson (Wales) header from a difficult angle on the right is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Gareth Bale with a cross.

Attempt missed. Andrej Kramaric (Croatia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luka Modric with a through ball.

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jamie Lawrence (Wales).

Borna Barisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rabbi Matondo (Wales).

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andrej Kramaric.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Marcelo Brozovic.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Rabbi Matondo replaces Daniel James.

Delay in match because of an injury Tin Jedvaj (Croatia).

Goal!

Goal! Croatia 2, Wales 1. David Brooks (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Connor Roberts.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia. Milan Badelj replaces Mateo Kovacic.

Attempt missed. Joe Allen (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Dominik Livakovic.

Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia).

Joe Allen (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match (Croatia).

Booking

Domagoj Vida (Croatia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Mateo Kovacic (Croatia).

Connor Roberts (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia. Mario Pasalic replaces Josip Brekalo.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Ethan Ampadu replaces Will Vaulks.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. David Brooks replaces Matthew Smith.

Hand ball by Joe Allen (Wales).