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2020 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage
  • Jamie Lawrence (17' OG)
  • Ivan Perisic (48')
  • David Brooks (77')

Croatia beat Wales in Euro 2020 qualifier as Perisic stars

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Perisic instrumental in Croatia's win over Wales (1:31)

Croatia held off Wales' late second half surge for a vital 2-1 win in Group E of European Championship qualifying. (1:31)

Croatia went top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group E after winger Ivan Perisic scored one and set up another to help the 2018 World Cup runners-up to a 2-1 home win over Wales on Saturday.

The result left Croatia top of the group on six points from three games, three ahead of Slovakia, Wales and Hungary.

Azerbaijan, who have no points, are at home to Hungary in the day's other fixture.

Perisic blazed two shots over the bar before setting up Croatia's 17th-minute opener, Welsh defender James Lawrence firing the winger's sharp low cross past stranded goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and into his own net.

Perisic then made it 2-0 early in the second half when he got on the end of a loose ball in the area and drove past Hennessey.

Gareth Bale twice came close for Wales before substitute David Brooks pulled a goal back in the 77th minute, beating Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic with a deflected shot.

The visitors piled on the pressure in the closing stages and midfielder Harry Wilson missed a gilt-edged chance to grab a late equaliser, heading a teasing Bale cross over the bar.