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Kovacic stars for Croatia, Wales overcome Latvia

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Mateo Kovacic
Kovacic stars for Croatia, Wales overcome Latvia. Photo/ World Soccer Talk.
  • Croatia got back to winning ways last night as they beat Turkey 2-0 to join Wales on four points at the top of Group D
  • On the other hand, Wales maintained their good start to Euro 2024 qualifiers with a 1-0 win over Latvia

Croatia got back to winning ways last night as they beat Turkey 2-0 to join Wales on four points at the top of Group D.

Croatia’s goals came from an unlikely source, Mateo Kovacic, who has only scored three times for his country in his previous 91 appearances. This was Croatia’s last match before the Nations League finals, which will be held this June in Rotterdam.

Mateo Kovacic

Mateo Kovacic celebrates after scoring against Turkey last night. Photo/ World Soccer Talk.

In another Group D fixture, Wales maintained their good start to Euro 2024 qualifiers with a 1-0 win over Latvia. Considering Gareth Bale’s retirement, disappointing World Cup campaign and injury issues in the squad, Wales will feel delighted with their performance in the last two matches.

Croatia Beat Turkey 

Croatia and Turkey met in Bursa on Tuesday night for the second round of Euro 2024 qualifiers. The two teams had played ten times before last night’s fixture.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic made three changes to his squad, introducing Josip Stanisic, Borna Barisic and Mario Pasalic in places of Josip Juranovic, Borna Sosa and the injured Marko Livaja.

Turkey nearly opened the scoring within five minutes after Brozovic lost the ball in the penalty area. However, goalkeeper Livakovic made a quick save to prevent his team from conceding early. Turkey came knocking once again after a Sutalo slip but Livakovic made a brilliant save to deny them.

Turkey eventually found the back of the net after eleven minutes of play. However, the goal was chalked off, sending another warning to Croatia, who now started pushing forward. Stanisic came close to scoring in the 16th minute but his shot went wide.

Mateo Kovacic opened the scoring for Croatia after a brilliant play involving Stanisic, Pasalic and Perisic. The Chelsea midfielder then made things 2-0 a few minutes later after Brozovic and Luka Modric stole the ball in Turkey’s half. Stanisic took a shot which went off the keeper’s fingertips before Kovacic pounced on the ball.

Despite Turkey looking dangerous in the second half, they didn’t score a goal. Croatia beat Turkey 2-0 at full time.

Wales Overcome Latvia As Bale Says Goodbye 

There was a sense that Gareth Bale’s appearance would add to another special night for Wales fans last night. The Wales fans had a chance to say goodbye to their legend before the start of the match.

As the atmosphere cracked, Wales breakthrough moment arrived four minutes before the interval. Moore powered home a header after James’ pinpoint cross to trigger an explosion of noise inside the Cardiff Stadium.


Wales players celebrate after Kieffer Moore opened the scoring against Latvia last night. Photo/ BBC.

Wales dominated the match but were unable to find another goal. However, they also showed enough discipline to ensure they don’t concede.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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