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Wales captain Williams criticises Croatia pitch

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By Adam Mazrani

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Wales captain Ashley Williams has said that he believes the state of the playing surface was conducive to the error that allowed Croatia to score the first goal of their eventual 2-0 victory over Chris Coleman’s team.

Ashley Williams jostles Mario Mandzukic

Williams, who was only recently awarded the captaincy from Aaron Ramsey, under-hit a back pass which allowed Croatia and Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic to charge down goalkeeper Lewis Price’s clearance before scoring the crucial opening goal.

However, according to the BBC, Williams attributed partial blame to the pitch at the Gradski Stadium in Osijek.

The conditions played a part in the back pass,” said the Swansea City defender. “The pitch was ridiculously bad. But I probably should have hooked it out, knowing what it was like. How many times do you pass the ball back to the goalkeeper and it is fine?

Williams has made two similar mistakes so far this season for his club side, at home to Sunderland and away at Aston Villa in the Premier League.

The defeat in Croatia leaves Wales second bottom of Group A in their attempt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, coming after Gareth Bale’s late two goals to defeat Scotland on Friday had breathed new life into the Welsh campaign.

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