Cyprus Mail
European football

England face Dutch test in Nations League climax

The Three Lions qualified for the last four of the inaugural tournament with a late victory over Croatia last month, topping their group that also included Spain

European champions Portugal will take on Switzerland in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League following the draw for the finals in Dublin on Monday.

World Cup semi-finalists England, who are looking for their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup, meet a resurgent Netherlands side in the second semi-final of the inaugural tournament.

Hosts Portugal, without forward Cristiano Ronaldo who has not been selected since this year’s World Cup in Russia, qualified comfortably for the finals by winning Group A3 ahead of Italy and Poland.

They face a Switzerland side brimming with confidence after come from behind to beat Belgium 5-2 in the final game of Group A2.

England face the Netherlands in a competitive match for the first time since a thumping 4-1 win in the 1996 European Championships.

Gareth Southgate’s side needed a late goal from Harry Kane to beat World Cup finalists Croatia and claim top spot in Group A4 which also featured former world and European champions Spain.

The Netherlands, a rejuvenated side under new manager Ronald Koeman, sealed their progress from a tough group featuring world champions France and Germany.

The event, created to replace friendly internationals that were unpopular with clubs, players and fans as they interrupted league action, largely got the thumbs up after the first batch of matches in September.

The semi-final matches will be played in Portugal on June 5-6 next year with the title clash set to be held on June 9.

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