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Wales debutant Broadhead earns dramatic draw against Croatia



Kramaric breaks the deadlock

Andrej Kramaric opened the scoring for Croatia in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Wales with a cool finish in the first half. Despite Wales showing real discipline in defence and determination to keep their shape, the visitors allowed shoddy defending to prove costly and concede the first goal of the match.

Broadhead seals dramatic draw

However, Welsh debutant Nathan Broadhead netted a stunning equaliser in stoppage time to claim his side’s first shot on target and secure a remarkable point in their opening qualifier against Croatia. It was a dream start for Broadhead who was making his senior bow for Wales and sparked joy among the travelling supporters.

Wales hold strong despite pressure

Despite the Bronze medalists of the World Cup being on the front foot throughout the match, Wales held strong in defence, restricting the home side to long-range efforts for the most part, and limiting Croatia’s clear-cut chances to a minimum. Wales showed real discipline and grit to hold their shape and carve out a valuable point in their opening match of the campaign.

Different line-up for Wales

Wales featured six uncapped players on their bench, but all 11 members of the starting lineup had played at least once in Qatar. The visitors seemed to be conceding possession in their attacking third to avoid getting caught out by the quick counter-attacking of Croatia, but despite retaining only 30% possession of the ball, Wales held strong and claimed a well-earned point.

Croatia full of confidence

Croatia, playing in front of their home supporters, had started with real confidence, and their slick passing allowed for some clear-cut chances. Despite Wales’ best efforts, the talented Croatian side was carving out some dangerous openings, and Danny Ward was called upon to keep his side in the game multiple times throughout the match.

Bright signs for Wales

Although Wales had shown little going forward in the first half, there were some positive signs in the second. The visitors showed signs of life and started to create and open up some chances, with their best chance coming in the 60th minute when Gareth Bale’s replacement, Harry Wilson, picked out an unmarked Daniel James at the back post, but the winger unfortunately volleyed over.

Positive impact from substitutes

Rob Page made three quick substitutions in the second half, bringing on Wes Burns, Sorba Thomas and Broadhead to inject fresh legs and energy into the side. The changes paid off as the substitutes injected new life into the Welsh attack and were instrumental in securing the dramatic draw in stoppage time.

Post-Bale era begins

This was Wales’ first match since the retirement of national team legend Gareth Bale, and the visitors showed real resilience and determination to claim a valuable point against Croatia. Rob Page will be pleased with how his side battled to hold strong and claim a point, and this result will surely give the squad immense confidence heading into their next qualifying match against Latvia.



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