Wilson: Wales are good enough to beat Croatia

Harry Wilson believes Wales have the ability to upset World Cup finalists Croatia and boost their Euro 2020 qualification chances.

Wales kept their qualifying hopes alive with a battling 1-1 draw in Slovakia on Thursday.

Ryan Giggs’ side remain three points off second-placed Slovakia but with a game in hand.

The Dragons’ next test is against Group E leaders Croatia, who would secure qualification with a Cardiff win on Sunday.

Croatia won the reverse fixture 2-1 in June, but Wilson believes Wales acquitted themselves well that day in Osijek.

“We know what a fantastic team Croatia are,” said Wilson, the Liverpool forward currently on loan at Bournemouth.

“But we went out there in the summer and, although we lost, we created chances.

“We know we’re good enough to create chances against them and it’s up to us to take them.

“We’ve got to recover now and make sure we’re ready for that game.”

Wales’ Euro 2020 destiny remains in their own hands after holding Slovakia in a pulsating Trnava draw.

Three closing wins would guarantee second spot as Wales would finish above Slovakia on their head to head record, and two could be enough.

Wales finish their campaign in November away to Azerbaijan and at home to Hungary.

“We knew we had to come to Slovakia and not lose,” said Wilson, mindful that Wales had won their Cardiff clash in March.

“That gives us a better head to head with Slovakia and that’s a big advantage.

“But all our focus now is on Sunday and getting the result we need.”

Wigan’s 6ft 5ins striker Kieffer Moore put Wales ahead in Trnava with a goal on his first competitive start for his country.

Torquay-born Moore’s roundabout route to the Wales stage has seen him work as a lifeguard, play in non-league football and in Norway, as well as represent England C.

Charlton defender Tom Lockyer said: “He’s not done it the easy way – a bit like myself – and when you do that I think you appreciate it more.

“I thought he was superb. He gives you that something different, especially away from home.

“It’s not always going to be pretty football. They’re a good well-drilled team and they were pressing high, but he was a great out ball and I think he won everything in the air.

“He brought others into play and took his goal well, so I’m buzzing for him.”

Lockyer also made his first competitive appearance as he got the nod over Ashley Williams to start alongside Swansea’s Joe Rodon.

“I had a few minutes with Joe against Belarus but that’s the first time I’ve properly played with him,” said Lockyer.

“The gaffer (Ryan Giggs) pulled me to one side and said ‘there’s a reason why I’m picking you because you’ve impressed me at Charlton’.

“The fact it was a big occasion and a massive game to put his trust in me was brilliant.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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