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Wales beaten at the Liberty

PUBLISHED

22:01 26th March 2013

. . . two late strikes give Croatia victory in World Cup qualifier in SA1


Wales' hopes of a Play-Off spot in the qualifying rounds of the 2014 World Cup were given a massive setback as Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
It had looked promising for Chris Coleman's side in Swansea, with Gareth Bale firing the hosts ahead from the penalty spot after Joe Ledley was brought down in the box after 21 minutes.
Bale then had a great chance to double Wales' lead, but he fired high and wide from 12 yards while Croatia also probed for an equaliser before the break.
Croatia were the dominant side in the second half, though, and two goals within ten minutes gave them the three points.
Dejan Lovren's powerful, swerving strike beat Boaz Myhill after 77 minutes and then Eduardo reacted quickest during a scramble in the box to score the winner with three minutes left.
Ashley Williams captained Wales while fellow Swan Ben Davies also featured for 90 minutes and Jazz Richards - on loan at Crystal Palace - came off the bench after 63 minutes to feature on home soil.
The result means Wales drop to fourth with six points from six games, while Serbia move to third after they beat Scotland.
Meanwhile, Jonathan de Guzman made his second start for Holland as they thumped Romania 4-0 in Amsterdam. He was replaced after 73 minutes while Michel Vorm was among the unused substitutes.
Itay Shechter started for Israel in their 2-0 win at Northern Ireland in Belfast with the Swans loanee being replaced for the last four minutes.
Ki Sung-Yueng featured for the entire 90 minutes as Korea Republic beat Qatar 2-1 in Seoul thanks to a last-minute winner.

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