Croatia 1-1 Wales: Nathan Broadhead scores injury-time debut goal to shock Croatia

Andrej Kramaric gives Croatia the lead

Wales debutant Nathan Broadhead secured a stunning 1-1 draw for Robert Page’s side as they scored with their only shot on target in Split.

Andrej Kramaric’s sweetly struck shot on 28 minutes gave the hosts a deserved half-time lead.

Wales improved after the interval and might have levelled on the hour, but Dan James’ volley missed the target.

Ivan Perisic hit the bar as Croatia sought a second, but Broadhead levelled from close range in injury-time.

The goal, after a long throw caused chaos in the Croatian penalty area, came totally against the run of play, but Wales will not care a jot after securing an unexpected point.

Croatia had won 34 and drawn one home European qualifier in their history.

But Wales upset the odds in the third minute of added time through Broadhead, who plays in League One for Ipswich Town.

Croatia fail to shrug off slow starter tag

Good in tournaments, slow starters in qualification, or so the cliché goes, but there were no signs of a World Cup hangover from the hosts until their late implosion.

It took Croatia less than three minutes to emphasise both their threat and quality as they pressed Wales into turning over possession and allowed Luka Modric plenty of space to shoot from distance, but Danny Ward was able to save on the stretch.

Roared on by an enthusiastic and passionate crowd, Croatia dominated the early exchanges and Kramaric forced Ward into another fine save on 15 minutes from a sweetly-struck volley.

A home opening goal began to feel inevitable even after Perisic saw his effort ruled out for a foul on 27 minutes, with Croatia’s dominance clear.

However, Wales will be disappointed in the manner they fell behind, with Joe Rodon and Neco Williams outmuscled by Kramaric who fired into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards.

Wales’ problems might have mounted had Kramaric opted to pass to Perisic instead of shooting as he sent a wasteful effort off target.

Poor finishing was all that prevented Wales from falling out of contention and they received a slice of fortune when Mateo Kovacic blasted over after Kramaric’s pass gave him a clear sight of goal from just outside the six-yard box.

Chances were less frequent from the hosts in the second half, but they dominated possession and always seemed in control.

Croatia should have scored more, with Perisic’s shot from a tight angle cannoning back off the crossbar in what proved a vital moment.

Nathan Broadhead

Page’s new era begins with debut goal

This was a much-changed Wales side from the one we saw at the World Cup, with retirements and injuries forcing Page into changes in personnel and formation.

The plan was to exhibit a more athletic side than the one that disappointed in Qatar, but while they defended resolutely, Wales were poor in possession.

Far from catching Croatia cold, it was Wales who started in what is becoming a customarily slow fashion, with Page’s side now conceding the first goal in each of their last nine competitive games.

It took until the 42nd minute for them to even get a sight of goal, with Harry Wilson’s free-kick over the bar their only shot on or off target before the break.

The challenge for Page was emphasised by his bench, with six of their 12 substitutes having never played an international match.

However, Wales should have equalised on 60 minutes when James failed to hit the target after Wilson’s clever pass gave him a clear sight of goal.

With momentum with them it was therefore surprising that Page opted to rest the legs of skipper Aaron Ramsey and forwards Wilson and James on 64 minutes, with the Wales boss opting for a triple change that included a call for Broadhead.

And the substitute stole the headlines as he sneaked in at the back post deep into added on time to tap home after Chris Mepham’s header fell to him when Croatia failed to deal with a Connor Roberts long throw.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Livakovic
  • 22JuranovicBooked at 31mins
  • 6Sutalo
  • 4Gvardiol
  • 19Sosa
  • 10ModricSubstituted forMajerat 90+3′minutes
  • 11Brozovic
  • 8KovacicSubstituted forPasalicat 76′minutes
  • 9KramaricSubstituted forVlasicat 76′minutes
  • 20LivajaSubstituted forMusaat 53′minutes
  • 14Perisic


  • 2Stanisic
  • 3Barisic
  • 5Erlic
  • 7Majer
  • 12Grbic
  • 13Vlasic
  • 15Pasalic
  • 16Ivanusec
  • 17Musa
  • 18Orsic
  • 21Vida
  • 23Labrovic


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 12Ward
  • 14Roberts
  • 5Mepham
  • 6Rodon
  • 3N Williams
  • 8WilsonSubstituted forThomasat 64′minutes
  • 16MorrellSubstituted forJamesat 90+2′minutes
  • 15AmpaduBooked at 25mins
  • 20JamesSubstituted forBroadheadat 64′minutes
  • 10RamseySubstituted forBurnsat 64′minutes
  • 13MooreSubstituted forBradshawat 70′minutes


  • 1King
  • 2Fox
  • 4Cabango
  • 7Cooper
  • 9Bradshaw
  • 11Harris
  • 17James
  • 18Lockyer
  • 19Burns
  • 21Davies
  • 22Thomas
  • 23Broadhead

João Pinheiro

Match Stats

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Match ends, Croatia 1, Wales 1.

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