Croatia secured their place at the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 win over Russia on Sunday after a late own goal from Fedor Kudryashov.
Finalists at the last World Cup in 2018, Croatia looked bound for the play-offs for much of Sunday’s game, as they toiled on a waterlogged pitch against a resolute Russian defence.
But Kudryashov’s error saw them snatch top spot from the visitors eight minutes from time and secure their passage to next year’s tournament in Qatar.
“It was a difficult match from the beginning because of the rain. We never gave up, we were patient and I think we won deservedly. We are the best team in this group,” Croatia captain Luka Modric was quoted as saying by the UEFA website.
While Croatia qualify automatically as Group H winners, Russia can still make it through via the play-offs.