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Switzerland end Croatia's perfect run

Croatia 0-2 Switzerland
The visitors ended their hosts perfect Group 5 record to move within three points of Nenad Gracan's side at the summit.

Pierluigi Tami's side inflicted a first Group 5 defeat on Croatia
Pierluigi Tami's side inflicted a first Group 5 defeat on Croatia ©Getty Images

Switzerland brought Croatia's perfect record in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 5 to an end with victory in Pula.

Having won four out of four without conceding, Croatia will have been full of confidence ahead of Switzerland's visit, however, Michael Frey set about upsetting the form book with the opening goal in the 19th minute. Pierluigi Tami's charges were firmly in control when Darko Jevtic struck a second just two minutes after the break, although they had a missed Marcelo Brozović penalty to thank for saving them from a tense finale. Switzerland are now just three points behind section leaders Croatia with a game in hand.

The visitors attacked from the start and took the lead when Remo Freuler directed a corner from the left towards goal and Frey arrived unmarked at the back post to tap in. Croatia suffered another blow just three minutes later when goalkeeper Oliver Zelenika had to come off with an injury.

Switzerland continued their positive outlook after half-time and winger Jevtic made it 2-0 with a turn of pace to burst past two defenders and a cool finish. Stipe Perica almost gave the hosts a lifeline but Switzerland goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo repelled his effort. Mvogo's best was still to come, however, as the custodian saved Brozović's spot kick ten minutes from time after Saulo Decarli was penalised for handball.

"We were unlucky in Switzerland, we attacked all the time and created chances but we lost," said goalscorer Jevtic about the return fixture a month ago. "This time it was completely opposite. Croatia missed a few chances and we won against a very strong side. They have many good players, especially captain Marcelo Brozović. He's such a fine player."

Croatia coach Nenad Gracan added: "It was hard for us to come back after that defensive error before the second Swiss goal. We managed to create a couple of very good chances, though, and even had penalty but we didn't score. Bad luck."