Nations League: Croatia reaches final after knocking out Netherlands

4 Min Read

Nations League: Croatia beat Netherlands to reach final

Croatia scored twice in extra time to beat the Netherlands 4-2 in their Nations League semi-final in Rotterdam on Wednesday and advance to Sunday’s decider.

Croatia will face either Italy or Spain in the second semi-final in Enschede on Thursday.

For a first major title, as they continued their form from last year’s World Cup in Qatar, where they finished third.

Substitute Bruno Petkovic put them on their way eight minutes into added time with a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Luka Modric sealed victory for Croatia with a late penalty, his second of the game.

The Dutch, the hosts of the Four Nations tournament, forced extra-time with a last-gasp equalizer to draw 2-2 after 90 minutes.

UEFA Nations League

Andrej Krameric equalized from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half and Doniel Malen put the hosts ahead in the 34th minute.

Croatia then took the lead in the 73rd minute through Mario Pasalic’s goal.

Before that, Noah Lang smashed the ball into the roof of the net to equalize six minutes into stoppage time.

The Netherlands’ first goal came against the run of play,

But at the end of a quick series of passes both quick feet and precise thinking.

Cody Gakpo set it up with possession and five passes later, Mats Wyfer fired home to an unmarked Malen.

But Croatia captain Modric’s street-smarts equalized and stole the ball from Gakpo in the Dutch penalty area.

whose instinctive reaction was to tug the 37-year-old veteran as he collapsed to the ground to win the penalty.

Kramaric cleared it comfortably, then Luka Ivanovic played a pass to Pasalic,

Despite Dutch defenders surrounding him, he fired home on the turn to give Croatia a 2-1 lead.

UEFA Nations League

But a last desperate attack saw the Dutch take advantage of Croatia’s failure to clear their lines to equalize and force the game into extra time.

But the equality did not last long. Modric’s pass set up Petkovic and he curled the ball into the net with a shot worthy of winning any cup tie.

Modric wrapped up the win with a late spotkick to seal another fine individual performance.

The Netherlands now face Thursday’s losers in the third-place playoff game in Enschede on Sunday.

The final is later that day in Rotterdam.

Dalic praised Modric

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic praised Luka Modric after the 37-year-old won a penalty for Croatia’s opening goal and converted a spot kick in extra time to seal victory for Dalic’s side.

With Modric nearing the end of a stellar career, Dalic hoped he would be able to call on the playmaker for some time to come.

“He is the one who can help us win gold,”

Delic told reporters before addressing Modric’s future.

“Luca will decide for himself after the final, but with him we are very good, we have more quality.”

“Winning the gold medal would be a great reward, I think we deserve it,” Dalic said.

“We have been a consistently quality team for the last six years.”

“Health Hazards of Prolonged Sitting: Risks and Effects on the Body””Health Hazards of Prolonged Sitting: Risks and Effects on the Body”

Nations League: Croatia beat Netherlands to reach final

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!