Wales After a series of mishaps that nearly derailed his international career, hero Nathan Broadhead never lost faith in his luck.

Broadhead scored a sensational tie with almost the final hit of the match, and Wales drew 1-1, World Cup semi-finalists Croatia, in their inaugural Euro 2024 qualifier in Split.

By doing so, Broadhead became the first Welshman to score in his first match since. Ben Woodburn set a World Cup qualifier against Austria in September 2017.

But his Welsh career was in danger of staying grounded after receiving several injuries on the eve of the team meetings.

“I got hurt every time I got called,” she said Ipswich forward Broadhead, who will turn 25 next month.

“I’ve had a lot of backlash in my career and timing has been a bit of an issue for Wales.

“But it’s at the top of my list and one of the best moments of my life.”

The Bangor-born Broadhead joined Everton from Wrexham at the age of 10, but only made two senior substitutions for the Toffees and only played a few minutes in the Premier League.

He played loan spells at Burton, Sunderland and Wigan before joining Ipswich in January for a £1.5m fee.

“I’ve always scored throughout the age groups,” said Broadhead, whose hopes of playing in the World Cup in Qatar were crushed when he was injured before the playoff final against Ukraine.

“I believe in myself and love to score. Moving from Everton to find a home to play and enjoy my football was the right decision for me.

Moving from Everton to find a home to play and enjoy my football was the right decision for me.

Nathan Broadhead

“He called me for Wales, so it was great.”

Wales hadn’t scored a shot on goal in Split in their first game since a poor World Cup performance and the retirement of talisman captain Gareth Bale.

Croatia held the ball and took the lead with Andrej Kramaric’s 28-minute kick from outside the penalty area, but missed a few chances to push the competition beyond Wales.

Then, just seconds after the captain Luke Modric The hosts were replaced by huge applause from the fans and as the game looked like it was over, Wales won a deep shot from the right corner.

Connor Roberts took a long shot into the penalty area and Chris Mepham, acting for Broadhead, smashed the ball into Dominik Livakovic’s close post.

Broadhead said: “Sorba Thomas told me to gamble on the back post, so I thought, ‘Then go ahead.’ I saw him come to me and I thought, ‘Oh, here we go.’ Thank God he got in.

“It was an incredible feeling. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and it’s a bonus to finally get on the pitch and score a goal.

“I went to the fans because I am one of them. It’s very important to get a point here, so we’ll take it and move on to Latvia on Tuesday.”