Croatia made a stuttering start to their Euro 2020 build-up as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Armenia on Tuesday.
The Croatians, who are in European championship Group D with England, Scotland and the Czech Republic, missed several chances in Velika Gorica and were punished in the closing stages as Armenia, ranked 90th in the world, struck out of the blue.
Ivan Perisic fired Croatia into a 23rd-minute lead when he rose above his markers to head home a Luka Modric corner and then missed an empty net in the 42nd minute with Armenia ‘keeper David Yurchenko stranded.
Yurchenko denied Perisic and Mario Pasalic hit the post with the rebound on the stroke of half-time and Croatia paid the price in the 72nd minute when Armenia’s Colombian-born substitute Wbeymar levelled with a spectacular effort.
The 29-year-old midfielder gave home goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic no chance with a thunderbolt from 25 yards into the top right corner after he was teed up by Zhirayr Shagoyan.
Armenia almost turned the match on its head as Livakovic denied Kamo Hovhannisyan with a fingertip save before Yurchenko palmed away Andrej Kramaric’s effort in the dying minutes.
Croatia’s squad for Euro 2020
Goalkeepers: Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Simon Sluga (Luton).
Defenders: Sime Vrsaljko (Atlético Madrid), Borna Barisic (Rangers), Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Josip Juranovic (Legia Warsaw), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Josko Gvardiol (Leipzig), Domagoj Bradaric (Lille), Mile Skorić (Osijek).
Midfielders: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Genoa), Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg), Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb), Luka Ivanusec (Dinamo Zagreb).
Forwards: Ante Rebic (AC Milan), Bruno Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim).
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