Spain meets Croatia in Nations League final match after late win over Italy

Spain meets Croatia in Nations League final match after late win over Italy

NOS Football

Spain will play the Nations League final on Sunday in Rotterdam against Orange challenger Croatia. A late goal by gold medalist Joselu gave Italy a 2-1 thrashing.

As a result, the Dutch team will play the consolation final against the Italians, who went down in Enschede.

The top affair in the east of our country ignited with lightning speed Thursday night. Already after three minutes the ball was in the net for the Azzurri, after a fatal build-up from behind.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma played in to central defender Leonardo Bonucci, and the experienced force then allowed himself to be cornered by Yeremi Pino. The striker took full advantage.


The 1-0 for Spain immediately broke the game open, although the Italians did get help from debutant defender Robin Le Normand after ten minutes.

The French-born Le Normand, playing for Real Sociedad, got the ball on the arm after a shot from Nicolo Zaniolo. The penalty given was taken advantage of by Ciro Immobile.

Immobile the celebrated man after the 1-1

It seemed to get even better for the reigning European champions, but a line went through Davide Frattesi’s goal on the advice of VAR. Offside, was the verdict.

In the remainder of the first half, both countries had a few more opportunities. A shot by Álvara Morata could be turned with difficulty by Donnarumma and, on the opposite side, an effort by Rafael Toloi sailed over Unai Simón’s goal.

The same Simón prevented a Frattesi goal after halftime with a clever reflex. Before that, the Spaniards had another huge chance. Both Mikel Merino (saving Donnarumma) and Morata (rebound just wide) failed to score.

Rush hour in front of the Italians’ goal

After the sun went down in Enschede, it was waiting for a liberating goal. Spain in particular laid claim to it, and a few minutes before time it did fall.

Joselu (33), who had already scored twice as a debutant against Norway in March, gave the ball the final push.

So the top affair got the same result as two years ago, then also in the Nations League semifinals. Spain now takes on Croatia. Italy meets Orange in the consolation final.

Kayleigh Williams