Croatia’s National Football Team secured a spot in the UEFA Nations League final after defeating the Netherlands 4-2 in extra time.
The Dutch successfully bypassed the Croatian defense, with Malen scoring the opening goal in the 34th minute, giving them a 1-0 lead. Croatia started the second half stronger, and their efforts paid off in the 53rd minute when Gakpo recklessly fouled Modrić inside their own penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick. Kramarić confidently converted from the spot, equalizing the score at 1-1 just two minutes later.
In the 73rd minute, Ivanušec found Pašalić in the midfield, who skillfully evaded three Dutch players and scored to complete the comeback. Just when it seemed like the game was settled, the Netherlands displayed their persistence, and Koopmeiners tapped in a rebound to level the score at 2-2 in the dying moments of the match.
Extra time followed, and in the 98th minute, Bruno Petković unleashed a shot from approximately 25 meters out, finding the back of the net and giving Croatia a new lead. In the 117th minute, Modrić converted another penalty kick, sealing the final score at 4-2.
Around 2,000 Croatian fans were in attendance at the UEFA Nations League semifinal in Rotterdam.
The “Vatreni” will now await the winner of the Spain versus Italy match, scheduled for Thursday at 8:45 p.m., in the final on Sunday at 8:45 p.m. Meanwhile, the Netherlands will also play on Sunday at 3 p.m. for the third-place spot against the loser of that encounter.