Netherlands vs. Croatia – Soccer Match Report – June 14, 2023


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

Croatia will play in opposition to both Italy or Spain, who face off within the second semifinal in Enschede on Thursday, for a primary main title as they continued their type from final yr’s World Cup in Qatar, the place they completed third.

The Netherlands misplaced 1-0 to Portugal within the first remaining of the biennial Nations League throughout Ronald Koeman’s first stint as coach of the nationwide crew. Two years later, in 2021, Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe scored as France beat Spain 2-1 to take the title.

Substitute Bruno Petkovic curled house a shocking shot from the sting of the penalty space eight minutes into further time to place Croatia on their approach and Luka Modric made positive of their triumph with a late penalty, their second of the sport.

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With Modric edging nearer to the tip of a stellar profession, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was hopeful he would be capable to name on the playmaker for a while to return.

“He might be the one to assist us win the gold medal,” Dalic advised reporters, earlier than addressing Modric’s future. “Luka will determine for himself after the finals, however with him we’re approach higher, now we have much more high quality.”

The Dutch, internet hosting the four-nation event, had compelled further time with a last-gasp equaliser to make sure it completed 2-2 after 90 minutes regardless of being largely outplayed in entrance of their house followers on the Feyenoord Stadium.

“There have been clear moments that confirmed the place we have to enhance,” Koeman advised reporters. “[Croatia] have been only a bit smarter, a bit safer in possession, and general they deserved the win.”

Donyell Malen handed the Netherlands a Thirty fourth-minute lead earlier than Andrej Kramaric equalised from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half.

Croatia then went forward via Mario Pasalic within the 73rd minute earlier than Noa Lang side-footed the ball into the roof of the web to equalise six minutes into stoppage time.

The Netherlands’ first aim got here in opposition to the run of play, however on the finish of a swift sequence of passes that noticed each fast toes and exact considering.

Cody Gakpo set it up by successful possession and 5 passes later, Mats Wieffer teed up an unmarked Malen to fireside house.

Nevertheless it was the street-smarts of Croatia captain Modric that received them degree, stealing the ball within the Dutch penalty space from Gakpo, whose instinctive response was to tug on the 37-year-old veteran and ship him tumbling to the bottom to win a penalty.

Kramaric tucked it away comfortably, after which Luka Ivanusec performed a go into Pasalic, that he fired house on the flip regardless of a number of Dutch defenders round him to offer Croatia a 2-1 lead.

However a determined final assault noticed the Dutch reap the benefits of Croatia’s failure to clear their strains with Lang completely positioned to equalise and drive the sport into further time.

Parity, nevertheless, didn’t final lengthy. Modric’s go put Petkovic via on aim and he curled the ball into the web with a shot worthy of successful any cup tie.

Modric accomplished the win with the late spot kick to seal one other excellent particular person efficiency.

In his first video games again within the job in March, Koeman’s aspect have been crushed 4-0 by France and solely laboured to a 3-0 win in opposition to minnows Gibraltar.

Koeman mentioned his crew had positively improved from these matches, however they weren’t but on the degree they hope to achieve.

“We clearly had a crew now that had the precise vitality, that put up a battle. That is one thing we will construct on,” Koeman mentioned. “However we performed in opposition to a Croatian crew that confirmed why it completed second and third at the latest World Cups. We have to study from that.”

The Netherlands now play within the third-place playoff recreation in opposition to Thursday’s losers in Enschede on Sunday and can resume their Euro 2024 qualification marketing campaign in September with matches in opposition to Greece and Eire.


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