Thursday , 9 February 2023

Spain to meet Italy in UEFA Nations League semis; Netherlands face Croatia – Citi Sports Online

World Cup bronze medallists Croatia were drawn against hosts the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League semifinals in June while Italy and Spain will reprise their rivalry in the competition in the other game.

The four countries were winners of their respective League A groups last year and will compete in the mini-tournament this summer to decide the 2022-23 title.

Wednesday’s draw, conducted at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland, has the Dutch hosting the Croats, fresh from reaching the World Cup semifinals in Qatar, in Rotterdam on June 14 with Italy and Spain clashing in Enschede the next day.

The winners advance to the final in Rotterdam on June 18, with the third-place playoff earlier the same day in Enschede.

Spain were runners-up to France in the last edition in 2021, first eliminating hosts Italy in their semifinal with a Ferran Torres double in a 2-1 victory in Milan.

Italy and the Netherlands also return for a second appearance at the finals while this is Croatia’s first time.

The third-ranked team in League A and the runners-up in League B, as well as the third-ranked League B side and the League C runners-up will play a home-and-away promotion and relegation playoff.

“By introducing the new knock-out phase, teams will be given even more opportunities to progress while keeping the same number of games within the international match calendar,” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.

In other changes, the European qualifiers for the European Championship and World Cup will be more consolidated, with teams being drawn in 12 groups of four and five teams.

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