Ryan Giggs was left to rue missed chances as his Wales side went down 2-1 to Croatia in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.
Croatia lost their last Group E game against Hungary in March, but returned to winning ways against Wales, with Ivan Perisic at the heart of things.
Having seen his cross deflect in off James Lawrence for Croatia’s opener in the first half, Perisic got on the scoresheet himself shortly after the interval, with David Brooks’ deflected strike proving a mere consolation.
While Croatia had plenty of opportunities themselves, matters might have been different had Harry Wilson done better with an early volley, while Gareth Bale also passed up a presentable chance and Brooks flapped at a chance to double his tally and salvage a point late on.
5y 95d – Jamie Lawrence is the first player to score an own goal for Wales since Ashley Williams did so against Iceland in March 2014, 5 years and 95 days ago. Oops.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 8, 2019
And Giggs was frustrated with his side’s profligacy as Wales slipped to a first defeat of their qualification campaign.
“I’m obviously disappointed not to get something out of the game with the chances we had,” Giggs told reporters.
“We looked the fitter side at the end. We looked like the ones pushing and it looked like Croatia were hanging on.
“When you end the game like that and have the chances we had, you’ve got to be disappointed and it’s definitely one that got away.
“We had so many good chances and we didn’t manage to put them away. We didn’t really play well and gave away two poor goals. When you don’t play like you can do and still create chances against this top team, it’s disappointing.
“I said to the players, ‘We’ve missed a chance’, especially with the way we ended the game, we ended so strong. When it gets stretched, Croatia had chances on the break, but you expect that.”
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, meanwhile, was encouraged by his side’s reaction to their defeat last time out, though acknowledged his players must be prepared to battle their way to Euro 2020.
“We are in first place, we are favourites, but it will be a fight,” he told reporters.
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