Thu | May 23, 2019

Croatia clip Spain 3-2 to throw open Nations League group

Published:Friday | November 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Croatia's Ivan Rakitic (right) challenges for the ball with Spain's Saul Niguez during the UEFA Nations League match at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, Croatia yesterday.

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP):

Tin Jedvaj scored his second goal of the game in injury time to earn Croatia a 3-2 win over Spain yesterday, a result that left both teams and group rivals England still in the running to reach the UEFA Nations League finals.

Croatia's win came two months after they were crushed 6-0 by Spain in Seville.

Spain are top of League A, Group 4 with six points. England and Croatia have four points before they meet at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The group winners advance to the Final Four tournament in June. The team that finishes bottom of the group will be relegated to League B.

With Croatia needing a victory to keep their hopes alive, the World Cup runners-up pinned Spain in their area in the final moments and Jedvaj scored on the rebound after goalkeeper David de Gea had blocked a shot.

"I am delighted and proud. I gave my best and this means a lot for us," the 22-year-old Jedvaj, a defender who plays for German club Bayer Leverkusen, said after scoring his first international goals.

Croatia started strongly by applying pressure and sending long balls to forward Ivan Perisic, who forced De Gea to push his shot onto the post in the sixth minute.

Perisic intercepted a pass and set up Andrej Kramaric to open the scoring in the 54th before Dani Ceballos replied two minutes later for Spain.

Croatia went back ahead in the 69th when Jedvaj headed in a cross from Luka Modric, but Sergio Ramos leveled again for Spain with a penalty eight minutes later after Sime Vrsaljko handled.

Spain appeared to be getting close to another goal when Croatia went forward in stoppage time in one final push that culminated in Jedvaj's last-gasp goal.