Wales ended their Uefa under 17 championship campaign with a 1-1 draw against Croatia in their final group game on Sunday evening at the Dasaki Stadium in Achna.

They had already been mathematically eliminated with a 3-0 defeat to eventual Group B winners Austria on Thursday, but Sunday’s result ensured they finished on a positive note.

In a first half of few chances, Wales had more of the ball, but struggled to penetrate a well-organised Croatian defence in the opening exchanges.

Their best chance early on came from a rare Croatian defensive mix-up, with goalkeeper and defence unable to decide who was to deal with a bouncing ball.

Oliver Bostock got to it first and attempted a lobbed shot which was saved by the outstretched hand of Croatian goalkeeper Antonio Rajic. The Welsh players protested that Rajic had been outside his penalty area when he made the save, but referee Pierre Gaillouste waved away the protests.

At the other end, Croatia were able to create a number of chances of their own, with Bruno Durdov’s rasping shot forcing a save from Welsh goalkeeper Max Hudson, before his shot two minutes later hit the underside of the crossbar.

It was Durdov who put Croatia ahead midway through the first half, the strong prevailing winds in Achna blowing his in-swinging corner over Hudson and into the Welsh net.

Wales were level ten minutes later through a set piece of their own. Cruz Allen was the scorer, a curling free kick meeting the hand of Antonio Rajic, who could only palm it in off the left-hand post.

Croatia nearly immediately restored their lead, with Luka Vrzic forcing another good low save from Max Hudson. Hudson then denied Tomas Bakovic with his fingertips two minutes later as Croatia pushed to regain the lead they needed to qualify for the quarter finals.

Wales then finished the first half with a couple of chances of their own, a great turn by Ronan Kpakio setting up a well-worked move with Cruz Allen and Elliot Myles, the latter’s shot flashing across the face of the Croatian goal.

Louis Griffiths then attacked down the left-hand side, forcing a save from Antonio Rajic with a shot from 20 yards to ensure the sides went in level at half time.

The second half begun in similar fashion to the first, with nothing more than half chances being created by either side in the opening exchanges. Cruz Allen was unable to repeat his first half heroics with a direct free kick, and Noa Mikic’s drilled cross-cum-shot was handily saved by Max Hudson.

Wales had the first genuine chance of the half, with a well-worked attacking move ending with Louis Griffiths twisting and turning before getting a toe-punted shot away which was deflected into the side netting.

Of the two sides, they did create the better chances as the half wore on, finding more space in behind Croatia’s defence than Croatia’s attack did in behind theirs.

Luis Gardner had a half-chance with a bouncing ball on the edge of the box which he fired over, while a run from Elliot Myles through the heart of the Croatian defence ended in a shot from the edge of the box and a good save and catch from Antonio Rajic.

In stoppage time, Croatia piled players forward, knowing that a single goal would see them through to the quarter finals. However, Wales’ defence held resolute and prevented their opposition from creating any real chances. The closest they came was a half-volleyed shot from Duje Milisic which was wide of the target.

A small scuffle threatened to break out at the end as Croatian frustration boiled over, with their tournament brought to an abrupt end with the result.

The draw in Achna meant Denmark progressed out of Group B to the quarter finals despite a 4-0 drubbing against Austria at the Tasos Markou Stadium in Paralimni.

A Philipp Moizi brace in the first half and two quickfire goals from Oghenetejiri Adejenughure separated the sides and ensured Austria topped the group.

Later on Sunday, hosts Cyprus will play their final game of the tournament against Ukraine at the AEK Arena in Larnaca. Both Cyprus and Ukraine were eliminated from the tournament with defeats on Tuesday.

Across town at the Ammochostos Stadium, the Czech Republic and Serbia will face off, with both having qualified for the quarter finals. A draw will see the Czech Republic qualify as group winners, while Serbia need a victory to finish in first place.