Nathan Broadhead’s last-gasp strike rescues draw for Wales in Croatia

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So, Wales finally know what life after Gareth Bale looks like and it turns out it’s not so bad, after all. Just ask one of the supporters that flew forward a few rows amid the delirium of the debutant Nathan Broadhead registering a stoppage-time equaliser on debut, or one of the dozens of topless fans, whipping their shirts overhead in a frenzy, who could be heard singing on loop as Rob Page tried to put it all into words more than half an hour after the final whistle.

It is safe to say kicking off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a draw away at World Cup semi-finalists Croatia will make the Wales squad’s expected 4am arrival at Cardiff airport somewhat easier to stomach. “It will be a quick two hours, absolutely,” Page said of the flight home, smiling. His players had made a mockery of the largely defeatist yet equally understandable attitude among the away supporters who travelled to Split in hope of green shoots rather than anything tangible. Perhaps they had caught sight of Croatia’s home record in European qualifiers, which before kick-off read: won 34, drawn one, lost none. The magnitude of the result was not lost on anyone of a Wales persuasion, particularly given Croatia should have put the game to bed in the first half.

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Written by Ben Fisher at Stadion Poljud
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