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  • Sports - Football - Gossips
  • Updated: June 15, 2023

UEFA Nations League: Croatia Fight Back Against Netherlands To Secure Final Spot

UEFA Nations League: Croatia Fight Back Against Netherlands

Modric v De Jong

In a pulsating encounter at De Kuip stadium, Croatia secured their place in the Nations League final with a thrilling 4-2 victory over the host nation, the Netherlands, in extra time on Wednesday.

Zlatko Dalic's side, who had previously reached the World Cup semifinals last year, proved once again that they are specialists in extra time, as Bruno Petkovic and Luka Modric struck decisive blows to propel their team into the final.

The Netherlands initially took the lead through Donyell Malen after a well-executed team move in the 34th minute.

However, Croatia fought back in the second half, with Andrej Kramaric and Mario Pasalic finding the back of the net to put their team ahead.

Just when it seemed Croatia had secured the victory, Noa Lang scored a dramatic 96th-minute equalizer for the Netherlands, forcing the match into extra time.

But it was Petkovic who seized the moment, eluding Frenkie de Jong and unleashing a powerful strike from outside the box to put Croatia ahead in the 98th minute.

The Netherlands fought valiantly to find an equalizer, but their hopes were dashed when Modric confidently converted a penalty to seal the 4-2 victory for Croatia.

For Croatia, the Nations League represents a golden opportunity for their experienced players, including Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, to add another international triumph to their illustrious careers.

Having suffered only one defeat in their last 16 matches, Croatia's impressive form continued as they denied the Netherlands the chance to secure their first major trophy since the 1988 European Championship.

The Netherlands, led by coach Ronald Koeman, finished as runners-up in the inaugural Nations League against Portugal in 2019.

However, their quest for glory fell short once again, with France emerging as champions in the 2021 edition.

The match showcased the talents of young stars such as Donyell Malen and Xavi Simons for the Netherlands, who played alongside established figures like captain Virgil van Dijk.

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