Toshack bemoans Croatia defeat
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Wales boss John Toshack rued the absence of a number senior players after his side went down to a battling 2-0 friendly loss in Croatia tonight.

Toshack's patched-up side performed admirably in front of a highly-charged crowd in Osijek but were ultimately beaten by superb goals from Ivan Rakitic and Drago Gabric late in each half.

There was no shame in the defeat having travelled with a squad of just 17 players after 15 men, including the likes of Craig Bellamy, James Collins, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, were ruled out for the trip. Wales were even unfortunate to have a goal disallowed in the first half when Simon Church claimed to have touched in a Chris Gunter cross only to be flagged offside.

Wales are not technically at the highest level but they play great British football. They were good running forward and played well through the middle.
Croatia manager Slaven Bilic

"It is just disappointing and unfortunate we had the amount of players missing we have," Toshack said. "We arranged this game with the Montenegro match in mind in September because it will be a similar type of atmosphere. But we had a few chances and there was a goal - I don't think anyone would have complained too much if it had stood.

"There were one or two useful counter-attacks and we defended quite resolutely. To lose the first goal right on half-time was a disappointment and in the second half, bearing in mind some haven't played too much, we were stretched numbers-wise," he said.

Toshack's opposite number Slaven Bilic paid tribute to the efforts of Wales in making life difficult for his side. Croatia, with Tottenham's Luka Modric to the fore, were dominant throughout but were frustrated on many occasions by the Wales back line.

"In the first half we made many mistakes but in the second we were much better and much faster. We won with great power," Bilic said. "Wales are not technically at the highest level but they play great British football. They were good running forward and played well through the middle."