The 2nd semi-final of the Nations League was played on Thursday evening between Spain and Italy in Enschede. The game started promisingly with two goals in the first ten minutes. However, it was the final minutes of the game that decided who would face Croatia in the final.
A day earlier, the first semi-final was played between the Netherlands and Croatia. Although the Netherlands performed well in the first half, Croatia proved too strong. Ronald Koeman’s team lost 2-4 to Croatia after extra time. Consequently, Croatia will play against Spain in the final on Sunday.
Spain v Italy off to a good start with two goals in under ten minutes
The question remained after Wednesday night; “Who will Croatia’s opponent be in the Nations League final?”. The answer was given last night. Just three minutes into the game, Spaniard Yeremy Pino managed to punish an error by Italy and take the lead. However, seven minutes later, Le Normand was penalised for a hand ball and Immobile was awarded a penalty on behalf of Italy. Moreover, the Italian made grateful use of this and levelled the score.
Italy on track after successful penalty
From that point, Italy seemed to have the taste and scored a second goal not much later. However, this was disallowed for offside. Despite the fact that more goals were not forthcoming in the first and second half, the game was anything but boring. With all the chances, it was a miracle that more goals were not scored.
Spain strikes in final minutes
As the minutes ticked by, it looked like this semi-final would go into extra time as well. However, substitute Joselu, who plays for Espanyol, put a stop to that and scored shortly after his appearance on the pitch making it 2-1.
Italy was unable to equalise in the remaining two minutes, therefore Spain will now face Croatia. This final match will be played on Sunday evening at 8.45 pm in De Kuip in Rotterdam. Earlier that day at 3.00 pm in Enschede, the Netherlands and Italy will decide who takes home the bronze.