World Cup finalist Croatia was held by outsider Azerbaijan to 1-1 on Monday, denting its chances of reaching next year's European Championship.

Croatia won an early penalty for handball, converted by captain Luka Modric, but Azerbaijan wing back Tamkin Khalilzade cut in from the left in the 72nd minute and beat Dejan Lovren before shooting past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

For Azerbaijan, one of next year's European Championship hosts, it was the first point of the qualifying campaign after four straight defeats.

Croatia has 10 points from five games in Group E as it competes with Hungary, Slovakia, and Wales for the two qualifying spots available.

If it doesn't qualify automatically, Croatia could get another chance in the playoffs, depending on how other teams fare.

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James Ellingworth is at www.twitter.com/jellingworth

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