Football: Jedvaj double gives Croatia 3-2 win over Spain

Croatia's Tin Jedvaj celebrates with team mates after scoring.
Croatia's Tin Jedvaj celebrates with team mates after scoring.PHOTO: AFP

ZAGREB (REUTERS) - Croatia kept alive their hopes of reaching the Nations League finals after a stoppage-time winner by left back Tin Jedvaj gave them a 3-2 win over Spain in an electrifying Group 4 clash on Thursday (Nov 15).

Spain stayed top of the group with six points from four games but their fate is no longer in their own hands as England and Croatia, who have four each from three matches, clash at Wembley on Sunday.

The winners of that game would finish top and reach the 2019 final four while only a draw would see the Spaniards retain top spot.

Jedvaj emerged as Croatia's hero with his first two international goals, sending the home crowd into raptures with his second when he swept home a rebound after Spain had twice come from behind.

Striker Andrej Kramaric fired the hosts ahead in the 56th minute, only for Dani Ceballos to equalise with his first goal for Spain barely two minutes later.

Jedvaj restored Croatia's advantage with a close-range header in the 69th minute before Sergio Ramos converted a penalty in the 78th to bring Spain level again.

Crushed 6-0 by Spain in the reverse fixture and roared on by a partisan crowd, World Cup runners-up Croatia started fast and missed two good chances in the first half while Isco went close at the other end.

The visitors had the upper hand early in the second half but fell behind after a calamitous error by Sergi Roberto, who gave the ball away to Ivan Perisic and the winger released Kramaric to beat David de Gea with a crisp finish from eight metres.

Croatia's joy was short-lived as Ceballos swept the ball home from six metres after good work by Isco and Iago Aspas.

Jedvaj, playing in an unfamiliar position as he is normally deployed on the opposite flank, made it 2-1 with a firm far-post header after an inch-perfect cross by Luka Modric.

Spain came storming back and equalised after Sime Vrsaljko twice handled the ball and Ramos sent goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic the wrong way with a calm spot-kick.

Chances went begging at both ends and Spain looked more likely to score before Croatia forced the final twist.

De Gea could only parry substitute Josip Brekalo's low shot and Jedvaj popped up again at the far post to hammer in the rebound.