Oranje to take on Croatia in Nations League semifinal; Match set for Rotterdam
The Dutch men’s national team will take on Croatia in the semifinals of the Nations League. The match will take place on June 14 in De Kuip, the home stadium for Rotterdam football club Feyenoord. The draw to determine the match took place on in Nyon, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Should the Dutch manage to advance to the finals, that match will also be played on June 18 in Rotterdam. The winner of the match with Croatia will play against the winner of the game between Spain and Italy, which will happen on June 15 in the Grolsch Veste, the home stadium for FC Twente in Enschede.
The third place match will also be held in the FC Twente stadium on June 18.
Croatia advanced to the World Cup semifinals in Qatar last month. They lost in their match against Argentina, who went on to become the world champions. Croatia did manage to take the bronze metal. Croatia also did well in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where they lost to France in the finals.
The team is led by national trainer Zlatko Dalic, and includes star player Luka Modric. Croatia qualified to play in their first Nations League final tournament, beating France, Denmark and Austria in the group stage.
Oranje played a number of matches against Croatia, including at the 1998 World Cup. The Dutch national team came in fourth place that year, losing to France 1-2 in the third place match despite a goal by Boudewijn Zenden.
Ronald Koeman, the Dutch team’s coach, was also the trainer during the final tournament of the Nations League in 2019 before he departed Oranje for a stint with FC Barcelona. During that first Nations League, Oranje lost to Portugal in the final. Spain lost to France two years ago in the final of the second Nations League tournament.
UEFA came up with the Nations League as a competitive replacement for many friendly matches that national teams organize. Oranje qualified for the semifinals this year by finishing first in a group with Belgium, Poland and Wales.
Reporting by ANP