WC Qual - UEFA

March 26, 2013



1 - 2


Group A

19:45 +00:00, March 26, 2013

Liberty Stadium, Wales

Coleman gutted

Wales manager Chris Coleman was "gutted'' after seeing his side's World Cup aspirations all but ended by their 2-1 defeat to Croatia at the Liberty Stadium.

He said: "We are gutted, even though we knew before the game we would be up against a very good team. We felt we could have come in 2-0 up, but we could not get that elusive second goal.

"We then probably defended too deep too early in the second half, because it is human nature to protect your lead against such a good team. Boaz Myhill made some great saves and we thought it might be our night, but you don't expect a centre-half to score a goal like that.

"It was soul destroying for us. We looked tired and then they got the winner late on when we had probably earned a draw. We needed the three points tonight if we were going to do anything in the group and give us an outside chance really. We are not going to qualify now.''

When Wales were a goal to the good, Bale spurned two great chances to extend their lead. The second of those opportunities saw the Tottenham man spoon over the bar when clean through, and Coleman could not believe the red-hot winger had not found the net.

He said: "As soon as he got a sublime first chance I thought he was going to score, I think the ball bobbled a bit but you would have put money on him scoring and unfortunately he didn't. If it had gone in I may have been sitting here with a different expression on my face.''

Coleman also refused to blame goalkeeper Myhill for Croatia's equaliser. The West Brom man had made a string of excellent saves, including a stunning stop from Darijo Srna's deflected strike. But he failed to get anything on Lovren's drive despite initially looking set to get behind the shot.

Coleman said: "It was an incredible strike. Boaz has been different class for us, he made some great saves at Hampden and again tonight. These modern balls are light and they move around a lot, he also saw it late as it came through a crowd so I would not put any blame at Boaz's door.''

Croatia boss Igor Stimac, meanwhile, felt his side had been fortunate to take all three points.

He said: "We were a bit lucky today. Wales were tough. We did not play well in the first half, my players did not do what I wanted, we were not precise moving the ball and we were lucky not to concede more.

"In the second half we came back well. In the end we had more strong players on the bench than Wales and that made the difference today.''

Scoring Summary

Wales Croatia
Gareth Bale (pen 21')Dejan Lovren (77')
 Eduardo (87')