Sports The Netherlands and Croatia enter the ‘F4’ of the League of Nations

The Netherlands and Croatia enter the ‘F4’ of the League of Nations

Dutch players celebrate their win over Belgium in the Nations League. – Laurie Dieffembacq/BELGIAN/dpa

France fell 2-0 to Denmark and Poland added its second win against Wales (0-1)


The Netherlands and Croatia qualified this Sunday for the ‘final Four’ of the League of Nations after beating Austria (1-3) and Belgium (1-0), respectively, on the last day of their groups in the tournament, in which also highlighted the defeat (2-0) of France against Denmark and the triumph (0-1) of Poland over Wales.

The Dutch confirmed their candidacy for the ‘F4’ of the tournament in the last duel of Group 4 and endorsed their leadership against Belgium in a duel less showy than expected. Roberto Martinez’s men, who needed to win by three or more goals to be first, started more connected, led by Hazard who had the first in minute 4, but his shot from the edge of the box went high.

This did not stop the madridista, who continued to be very active, along with Kevin de Bruyne, the two beacons of his team. However, it was Witsel who had the clearest chance after half an hour of play, after a good cross from the City midfielder. With that equality, the break was reached, and with the changes the hornet’s nest was shaken a bit. The first dangerous arrival of the ‘Oranje’ came in the 50th minute to prove a Courtois who had been a mere spectator until now.

The goal fell on the Dutch side in minute 74, with an accurate shot by central defender Virgil van Dijk from a corner kick launched by Cody Gakpo to put the ticket to the ‘Final Four’ on track. Bergwijn was able to make it 2-0 minutes later, and Belgium also had theirs with two heads-ups against Cpurtois, who he saved brilliantly. Lukebakio was able to equalize in the bicycle kick discount, but the shot hit the crossbar.

In the other match of Group 4, Barca’s Robert Lewandowski’s Poland, uninspired this Sunday, beat Wales by a minimum, who had their best assets in James and Bale. The visitors took the lead in the second half with a goal from Swiderski practically defining a one-on-one after a good pass between the centre-backs.

Wales, who were better from the start, tried in every way, but Szczesny had a great game and was key for Poland to take all three points. Bale was able to equalize in the 92nd minute with a good header that went to the crossbar. This defeat leaves the Welsh last, who are already a team in League B of the League of Nations.

In Group A everything was at stake on this second day. Denmark was aware that it could get into that ‘F4’ and came out with everything against France, which could go down if a series of results were given. Before the 40th minute, the Danes were already leading 2-0 thanks to goals from Dolberg and Skov Olsen.

The initial surge of the French, with the absence of Kounde, Lloris or Kante, but with Tchouameni, Camavinga and Mbappe on the field, lasted only the first 20 minutes. Later, disconnection and reluctance to let go in a game that was key. A ‘no more’ Frenchman who did not improve in the second half after the goals against, only with an opportunity at the end for the PSG striker, but who ran into a good Schmeichel.

Despite the defeat, France will not be relegated to League B following Croatia’s 3-1 victory over Austria. A triumph that puts the team led by Luka Modric in that ‘Final Four’ for the title. The Real Madrid midfielder was key with the first goal for the Croats, who went ahead in the 6th minute.

The Austrians, with Alaba starting after giving a scare the previous day, responded just three minutes later, with a goal from Baumgartner. Already in the second half, Croatia continued without fluidity in attack and the winning goals would come after two crosses that Livaja and Lovren finished off with their heads, to play their first ‘F4’ of the League of Nations. Thus, the Netherlands and Croatia are already waiting for their two rivals, which will be Portugal or Spain and Hungary or Italy.

Source: Europa Press



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