Donyell Malen was on target in the UEFA Nations League semifinals on Wednesday, but the Netherlands fell to a 4-2 defeat to Croatia after conceding twice in extra time.
Donyell Malen started for the Netherlands on Wednesday, as they went up against Croatia in the semifinals of the UEFA Nations League. The Borussia Dortmund forward continued his excellent run of form and gave the Netherlands the lead with a composed finish into the bottom corner.
Malen’s fifth goal in his 22nd appearance for the Netherlands gave them a 1-0 lead going into the break. But Croatia responded well in the second half and turned the game on its head. Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric equalised from the penalty spot, before Mario Pasalic gave the 2018 FIFA World Cup runners up the lead.
Donyell Malen was replaced by Steven Bergwijn in the 75th minute, and the Netherlands struggled going forward for much of the game after that.
Ronald Koeman’s side did manage to take the game to extra time, with Club Brugge’s Noa Lang scoring a dramatic 96th minute equaliser. But a clinical performance in extra time helped Croatia prevail in the end, with goals from Bruno Petkovic and Luka Modric securing their place in the final of the UEFA Nations League.
Croatia’s win means that they will now face the winner of Spain vs Italy in the UEFA Nations League final. While Donyell Malen and the Netherlands will go up against the losing team of the other semifinal in the third place play-off on June 18.