Rangers defender Borna Barisic helped his country to an important three points on Saturday afternoon.
The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Croatia triumphed 2-1 over Wales in Euro 2020 qualifying.
Croatia went ahead after 17 minutes courtesy of an own goal from James Lawrence. Then, shortly after half-time, the impressive Ivan Perisic capitalised on slack defending to make it 2-0.
There was a late rally from the visitors, though. David Brooks reduced the arrears with a deflected effort on 77 minutes, but he missed a golden opportunity in stoppage time to snatch a point.
The result was crucial for Croatia, who suffered a shock defeat to Hungary last time out. They go top of Qualifying group E
It’s another big step in the right direction in Barisic’s international career, too.
The full-back endured an injury-pagued and ultimately disappointing first season in Scotland, but this was his third consecutive start for the world’s fifth-ranked international team.
In terms of assignments, they don’t come much tougher than marking Gareth Bale.
However, the ex-Osijek left-back managed to tame the Real Madrid superstar.
Barisic was caught slightly out of position when Will Vaulks missed a golden opportunity on the stroke of half-time, while Bale almost set up a late equaliser after wriggling free from the attention of several defenders.
However, ultimately, Barisic emerged unscathed in a performance that will surely give him a lot of confidence going forward. If he can handle one of the world’s most expensive players, he can certainly make it in the SPL.
Next up for Croatia is a friendly against Tunisia on Tuesday evening.