Home Sports Football Croatia beat Netherlands to qualify for Nations League final

Croatia beat Netherlands to qualify for Nations League final


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.