Netherlands 2-4 Croatia | Modric Masterclass | Tactical Analysis

Croatia beat the Netherlands thanks to Brozovic, Kovacic and an extraordinary Modric. We started by analyzing Croatia’s build up with Brozovic on the edge of the box waiting Kovacic and Modric higher up.

The Netherlands pressed high and this meant that the 3 midfielders interchange positions constantly, disorganising the opposition, finding space between the lines.

If Croatia progressed the ball with Brozovic and Kovacic, Modric stayed away from the play with a lot of mobility to receive at the right moment.

Modric tried to do so for the first few minutes, but Koeman’s side were able to prevent him from controling the ball and drive, although there were always Croatians free to receive Modric’s one-touch pass.

As the game progressed Modric began to have too much time to receive and this was the Netherlands’ main problem. Leaving space for Croatia’s midfield to play the game at a lower tempo, being able to make the best decision not playing under pressure. Every time Modric received he played progressive passes to the flanks or to players who appeared in the central channel unmarked, as was the case in Croatia’s third goal with Petkovic carrying the ball unchallenged to score with a long-range shot.

The spaces left by the Netherlands were also seen in transitions with Brozovic throwing the first pass and Kovacic driving into the final third, as was the case in the play of the second goal.

Modric closed the game scoring a penalty in one of his best performances for the national team, sending Croatia through to the Nations League final.

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