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Croatia beat Netherlands to qualify for Nations League final

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Croatia are one win from their first major title after beating hosts the Netherlands in a dramatic Uefa Nations League semi-final.

Substitute Bruno Petkovic struck from distance in extra time before Luka Modric’s penalty settled a remarkable game in Rotterdam

A 96th-minute Dutch equaliser from Noa Lang had denied Croatia in normal time.

But Zlatko Dalic’s side will now play Italy or Spain in Sunday’s final, while the Dutch face a third-place play-off.

Their victory was sealed by 37-year-old talisman Modric from the penalty spot with four minutes left, after he was felled by a clumsy Tyrell Malacia challenge.

It means Croatia have reached just their second international final, following the 2018 World Cup where they were beaten 4-2 by France.

For the Dutch, their international trophy drought now extends to beyond 35 years – they have not won a major title since the 1988 European Championship.

It also continues Ronald Koeman’s inauspicious start to his second spell as the Netherlands manager, having lost 4-0 to France in a Euro 2024 qualifier in March.

Coming at the end of a long season – Nathan Ake, Denzel Dumfries and Marcelo Brozovic all played just four days after featuring in the Champions League final – both sides struggled to reach a competitive tempo in the early stages.