Wales fell to their third defeat in four World Cup qualifiers after being overrun 2-0 by a dominant Croatia side in Osijek.
The Dragons did well to keep their hosts at bay until the 27th minute, when goalkeeper Lewis Price tried to clear a weak Ashley Williams back-pass but was charged down by Mario Mandzukic, who tapped home.
Former Arsenal forward Eduardo then made it 2-0 after the break. It was no less than Croatia deserved from a match in which they were superior throughout.
Wales, meanwhile, after bouncing back from a 2-0 loss to Belgium and 6-1 thrashing in Serbia in their opening two Group A fixtures with Friday's morale-boosting 2-1 win over Scotland, have been brought back down to earth.
They made their first real foray forward in the 12th minute as Gareth Bale earned a throw-in he could only deliver straight to goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa. The hosts were soon on the attack, with Luka Modric bursting into the box and tumbling under a challenge from Darcy Blake but referee Alexandru Dan Tudor waved play on.
Price was being kept busy, saving shots from Ivan Rakitic and Milan Badelj, although in between Bale fashioned the visitors' most meaningful effort yet with a strike that fizzed wide.
Wales had managed to absorb a considerable amount of pressure from their opponents, but they shot themselves in the foot just before the half-hour mark when Price struck skipper Williams' back-pass - which appeared to have been slowed down by the poor playing surface - against Mandzukic, who calmly guided it into the net.
There was no let up after the break, with Williams deflecting the ball over when Modric and Eduardo combined two minutes into the second half. Wales did then muster an effort as Williams nodded wide from a free-kick, but Ivan Perisic then headed off-target and Price just managed to keep out Eduardo and Mandzukic.
Eduardo was rewarded for a fine display with a goal in the 58th minute as he was on hand to tap in after Price had parried a header from a corner.
Another scramble ensued in the Wales box that somehow did not result in a third Croatia goal before Price saved a Mandzukic header and Modric drove wide. Bale beat several men towards the end and drilled in a low effort that Pletikosa could not hold, but substitute Sam Vokes blasted the rebound off-target.