Wales suffered a minor setback in their pursuit of Euro 2020 qualification as an own-goal from Tom Lawrence and a clinical Ivan Perisic finish secured a 2-1 win for Croatia.
Wideman David Brooks' hopeful effort in the closing stages deflected in off the head of an opponent to give Ryan Giggs' men hope, but their late resurgence ultimately proved fruitless.
Croatia 2-1 Wales
The two sides sat level on points at the start of play, both having racked up three points
The latter duly slotted past Wayne Hennessey when a mix-up in the box saw the ball fall at his feet, giving his team an advantage they would hold on to for the remainder of the contest.
Bournemouth's dazzling winger Brooks was first fortunate to see his 77th-minute attempt from the edge of the area ricochet awkwardly into the goal, before finding his luck had run out as he fell agonisingly short of connecting with a delicious delivery from out wide.
Nevertheless, the Welsh have plenty left to play for, with their destiny still firmly within their control.
Estonia 1-2 Northern Ireland
The Green and White Army claimed their third qualifying victory in as many matches courtesy of a late double in Tallinn, taking them six points clear of second-placed Germany in Group C having played two games more.
Estonia scored first through a delightful
Scotland 2-1 Cyprus
"Steve Clarke's Tartan Army"— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 8, 2019
Burnley supporters will be pleased to see cult hero Johann Berg Gudmundsson stealing the show as Iceland downed Albania to keep pace with those at the top of Group H. The midfielder grabbed the only goal as he carved open the opposition defence with a determined burst forward, bamboozling defenders with twists and turns before sliding a shot underneath the onrushing 'keeper.
Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki hit both goals in a 2-0 triumph for Finland against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Edin Dzeko unable to save his side this time. Elsewhere, Russia spanked San Marino in a 9-0 drubbing, Artem Dzyuba claiming four during the decimation.
Belgium, Germany and Italy all recorded routine victories and all avoided conceding, with Leroy Sane and Romelu Lukaku amongst the scorers in their respective fixtures. However, the same cannot be said for world champions France, who fell to a surprise 2-0 defeat in Turkey.
Lukaku has scored 23 goals in his last 20 games for Belgium.— Football Media (@FootbaIIMedia) June 8, 2019
The Red Devils' main man. pic.twitter.com/OcLeVFYcOF
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi struck a quick-fire brace to set Argentina on their way to a straightforward 5-1 win over Nicaragua, whilst Roberto Pereyra of Watford also got on the scoresheet to double his tally for the South Americans.
Here are all of Saturday's results and fixtures:
|Group C||Estonia 1-2 Northern Ireland|
|Group C||Belarus 0-2 Germany|
|Group E||Croatia 2-1 Wales|
|Group E||Azerbaijan 1-3 Hungary|
|Group H||Iceland 1-0 Albania|
|Group H||Moldova 1-0 Andorra|
|Group H||Turkey 2-0 France|
|Group I||Russia 9-0 San Marino|
|Group I||Belgium 3-0 Kazakhstan|
|Group I||Scotland 2-1 Cyprus|
|Group J||Armenia 3-0 Lichtenstein|
|Group J||Finland 2-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Group J||Greece 0-3 Italy|
|Friendly||Argentina 5-1 Nicaragua|