Nations League: Croatia and Holland in the semifinals. France ko, but avoids relegation

Modric, Livaja and Lovren to sign: Austria descends in League B. Like Wales, defeated at home by Poland. Denmark shows, but the 2-0 to Bleus is only worth second place

Croatia and Holland are the first two teams to win a place in the Nations League Final Four. Dalic’s national team wins in Austria, making sure they are safe from Denmark who overtook France. Huge disappointment for Deschamps and him, who close the group in third place with only 5 points. The Oranje, on the other hand, impose themselves on an uninspired Belgium, which is struggling to find the right spacing forward: Van Dijk’s head-off is decisive. A delightful play by Lewandowski for Swiderski and a super Szczesny are enough for Poland to win the three points that condemn Wales to relegation to League B. All already outlined in League C, which from the next edition will also see Latvia three protagonists.

League A

In group 1 the hierarchies are confirmed. France seems to have a better start, phrases well on the trocar but when Denmark changes gear, the resistance of the Bleus does not hold up. The first ring is from Skov Olsen at 20 ‘, who after a science fiction check tries to catch Areola against the clock. At 34 ‘the Danes pass: Damsgaard brushes from the left, Dolberg is perfect in the split. To double up, just wait a few minutes. Eriksen kicks directly on goal from the flag, the goalkeeper rejects but on the development of the action he can do nothing on Skov Olsen’s right-footed shot. In the second half French pressure increases, but Schmeichel contains it very well by opposing Mbappé. In Vienna Croatia put the record straight, at 6 ‘they are already ahead thanks to Modric’s sharp blow on the near post, triggered properly by Vlasic. The response from Austria came three minutes later: Baumgartner was good at deflecting a cross from the left behind Livakovic with his head. At fifteen minutes Brozovic stops with a muscle injury and is forced to leave the gearbox and the guests suffer. Rangnick’s national team touches the net first with Baumgartner (23 ‘) and then with Arnautovic at the end of the first half, with Livakovic exalting the Bologna forward. The overtaking arrives as the game is over. In the 69th minute, two former Inter players made the goal: Perisic crossed from the left, Livaja scored with a header. Three minutes and Lovren locks the record, concluding a corner kick scheme with a diving header.

The Netherlands, without too much effort, defuses Belgium’s offensive potential. The Oranges allow themselves to be preferred for the development of the game but do not raise the pace. At half an hour Witsel misses an interesting deviation by a few centimeters, Onana – the best in the field among him – sees his attempt rejected from a few meters by a great intervention by Pasveer (66 ‘). Martinez looks for fantasy on the trocar, he doesn’t even get it when at the interval he inserts De Ketelaere as a fake center forward. At 73 ‘the selection of Van Gaal makes the calculations useless: Van Dijk stands out on Gakpo’s corner and gives the Netherlands three points and primacy. In the final Courtois forced to overtime on Bergwijn, while Lukebakio’s overhead kick on the opposite side is printed on the crossbar. A great Szczesny is the key to Poland’s success. The first interventions are made in rapid succession at 32 ‘on James, on the other hand his colleague Hennessey risks a sensational own goal on a wrong control. At 57 ‘the decisive goal: Lewandowski’s delightful side puts Swiderski in front of the goalkeeper who is cold to burn him out. The Juventus goalkeeper repeats in the 60th minute on Johnson and in the 77th minute on a dangerous cross-shot from the left. Where he does not arrive, the crossbar takes care of saving the result, as happens in full recovery on Bale’s header.

League C

Last day useful only for statistics in group 1, where the ranking had already been outlined in the last round. The Far Oer Islands give themselves the story of the evening, winning the victory against Turkey: the goals are from Davidsen in the 51 ‘and Edmundsson in the 59′, with Gurler reopening it in the final. Luxembourg beat Lithuania thanks to Rodrigues’ goal in the 88th minute, who had one canceled in the 61st minute and hit a post in the first half. There was not much to define even in group 3 dominated by Kazakhstan, already certain leaders. Painless defeat, therefore, in the home of Azerbaijan with the result of 3-0 thanks to the own goal of Marochkin and the seals of Ozobic and Nuriev; in the other match Slovakia and Belarus draw: the guests go ahead with Bakhar, the 1-1 is signed by Zrelak.

League D

Excited final in Group 1. Latvia were joined in the final against Andorra, while Stina’s brace in recovery allowed Moldova to beat Liechtenstein. However, it was not enough: despite the arrival at the top with equal points, the promotion to League C is by Latvia for the advantage gained in the direct clashes against the Moldovans.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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