Croatia back on track, beats Wales 2-1 in Euro qualifier

Croatia back on track, beats Wales 2-1 in Euro qualifier
Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey fails to save an own goal scored by Wales defender James Lawrence during the Euro 2020 group E qualifying soccer match between Croatia and Wales at the Gradski Vrt stadium in Osijek, Croatia, Saturday, June 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

World Cup finalist Croatia put its 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign back on track with a 2-1 victory over Wales on Saturday.

James Lawrence scored an own-goal to give Croatia an early boost after diverting a cross from Ivan Perisic in the 17th minute in Osijek.

Croatia looked to be the better side anyway as it moved on from recent inconsistent results.

Perisic doubled the advantage early in the second half for Croatia to rebound from a 2-1 loss to Hungary in Budapest. Substitute David Brooks cut the deficit for Wales with a deflected shot in the 77th.

With its second win in qualifying, Croatia took sole lead of Group E with six points, with Wales, Slovakia and Hungary trailing by three points but with a game in hand.

Also, Iceland beat Albania 1-0 to join France and Turkey at the top of Group H ahead of Turkey hosting France later Saturday.

World champion France, Belgium, Italy and Germany are also in action later Saturday while the Netherlands face Portugal in UEFA’s Nations League final.


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