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Croatia beat Latvia to boost their EURO 2024 qualification hopes. Photo/ FOX Sports.
Croatia beat Latvia 2-0 to record victory for the first time in three games and boost their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024
Croatia’s victory against Latvia was a big blow for Wales who had earlier on Saturday dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Armenia
Croatia beat Latvia 2-0 to record victory for the first time in three games and boost their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024. After back-to-back losses last month, Croatia needed to return to winning ways and they did so against Latvia wrapping up their 2-0 victory inside the first 16 minutes.
Lovro Majer got the breakthrough for the visitors after just seven minutes before Andrej Kramaric doubled the lead with 16 minutes gone. Croatia go into their last match on Tuesday, needing a win at home against Armenia to seal their spot in Germany next year.
Midfielder Lovro Majer opened the scoring against Latvia on Saturday night. Photo/ CroatianSports.com.
Croatia’s victory against Latvia was a big blow for Wales who had earlier on Saturday dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Armenia. Wales must now beat Group D leaders Turkey in Cardiff on Tuesday and hope that Croatia drop points against Armenia if they are to qualify for EURO 2024.
How Croatia Beat Latvia On Saturday
Croatia started the game knowing they needed to win to boost their chances of qualifying for EURO 2024, especially after their closest rival Wales dropped points against Armenia. The visitors gave themselves a fantastic chance of qualifying for the tournament in Germany by opening the scoring inside the first ten minutes.
Lovro Majer gave Croatia the lead in the seventh minute with a brilliant shot that went into the bottom corner after being picked out by Luka Ivanusec. The Croats weren’t done there however, as they continued with their blistering start, capitalizing on Latvia’s poor defending nine minutes later.
It was Andrej Kramaric who made it 2-0 for Croatia, keeping his side on track as they aimed for a crucial win at Skonto Stadions (Riga). Trailing 2-0, Latvia needed to be more careful to avoid being mauled 5-0 as it happened the last time they faced Croatia.
Andrej Kramaric celebrates after scoring Croatia’s second goal against Latvia on Saturday night. Photo/ VOI.
Croatia continued to dominate the game throughout the first half but were unable to find another goal before the break. On the other hand, it was a difficult first half for the hosts who didn’t even manage a shot on target in front of their fans.
Croatia were still stronger after the break, but Latvia did manage to get their first shot just shy of the hour mark. It was Andrejs Ciganiks whose long range effort went wide of the post.
Latvia goalkeeper Roberts Ozol made a brilliant save to stop his side from conceding another goal at home when tipped Josip Sutalo’s looping effort over the bar. Majer had a good chance to increase Croatia’s lead but he missed.
Marco Pasalic also missed a good chance that saved Latvia further embarrassment in front of their fans. Croatia eventually won the match 2-0, thanks to first half goals from Lovro Majer and Andrej Kramaric.
Turkey, who have already booked a spot in next year’s tournament in Germany, are currently second on Group D with 16 points in seven games. Having 13 points in seven matches, Croatia moved two points clear of 3rd-place Wales who have also played seven matches. The Wales vs. Turkey and the Croatia vs. Armenia matches will be held on Nov. 21.
Croatia beat Latvia 2-0 on Saturday night to boost their EURO 2023 qualification hopes. Photo/ FOX Sports.
The best two teams in each group will qualify for the EURO 2024 in Germany. The teams that have so far reserved their places at next summer’s European football championship are Spain, Scotland, France, England, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Portugal and Slovakia.
France, who also played on Saturday night, recorded the biggest landslide in the history of European Championship qualification by thrashing Gibraltar 14-0.
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.