Nations League soccer semi-final between Netherlands and Croatia in Rotterdam, June 14, 2023. Bruno Petkovic (second from left) scores a goal.
Rotterdam – Croatia's soccer players defeated the Netherlands 4:2 after extra time and advanced to the Nations League final for the first time. The semi-final duel in Rotterdam was decided in the 98th minute by substitute striker Bruno Petkovič. The bronze medalists from last year's World Championship will face the winner of Thursday's Spain-Italy match for the trophy. The Dutch will also play a duel for third place on Sunday.
The balanced first half at the De Kuip stadium offered the only better chance, and a goal. In the 34th minute, Malen got a lot of time to process the ball in the penalty area and hit the post with a cross. The 24-year-old Dortmund striker confirmed his form with his fifth national team goal, scoring eight goals in the last 11 competitive matches.
The Croats equalized soon after the change of sides. In the 55th minute, Gakpo brought down Modrič in the penalty area and Kramarič converted the penalty kick with ease. The Hoffenheim gunner is also enjoying a successful end to the season, for eight hits he needed only two games more than the scorer of the opening goal of today's duel.
Coach Dalič's men were more active in the second half and took the lead for the first time in the 72nd minute. Ivanušec found Pašalić with a cross into the box, who beat Bijlow for the second time on the volley. Nevertheless, the home side extended their unbeaten run in regular time at the De Kuip Stadium to 32 games in a row. In the last sixth minute of regulation, Lang found his way best in the scrum and sent the duel to extra time with a technical shot.
However, only the Balkan team scored in it. First, Petkovič hit the near post with a shot from 20 meters, and in the 116th minute, captain Modrič closed the scoring with another penalty. After 40 matches, the Dutch left defeated in the match in which they took the lead 1:0.
After the fight for bronze at the 1998 World Championship, the Croatians defeated today's opponent in the second competition and will play for the trophy immediately at his first appearance in the Final Four. “Oranje”, on the other hand, will not repeat their participation in the final from the premier edition of the Nations League in 2019.
Final Four of the Nations League in the Netherlands – semi-finals in Rotterdam:
Netherlands – Croatia 2:4 after extra time. (2:2, 1:0)
Goals: 34. Malen, 90.+6 Lang – 55. Kramarič from pen., 72. Pasalič, 98. Petkovič, 116. Modrič from pen.< /p>