Croatia stunned hosts Netherlands to reach the final of the Nations League. Luka Modric kept his hopes of winning an international title alive by scoring in extra time to help his side win 4-2.
England have selected the experience Stuart Broad over the raw pace of Mark Wood for the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for June 15, 2023:
Croatia reach Nations League final
Bruno Petkovic and Luka Modric struck in extra time to fire Croatia into the Nations League final with a 4-2 victory over hosts the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Zlatko Dalic’s side, who reached the World Cup semi-finals last year, moved a step closer to earning their first ever trophy and demonstrated once again they are extra-time specialists.
Andrej Kramaric and Mario Pasalic netted in the second half after Donyell Malen sent the Dutch ahead, but Noa Lang snatched a 96th-minute equaliser to force an additional half hour.
However Petkovic got away from Frenkie de Jong and drilled home from outside the box to decisively put Croatia ahead eight minutes into extra time, and Modric wrapped up the win with a penalty.
The Nations League represents one of the last chances for Croatia’s elder statesmen, including Real Madrid midfielder Modric, to taste international triumph.
“It’s a victory for the Croatian people, we beat the Netherlands in front of their fans, Croatia has one more medal – it’s impossible, unreal, but she deserves it,” Croatia coach Dalic told his country’s Nova TV.
“Nothing upset the team, they know what they are playing for, above all, Croatia. You endure everything for Croatia.
“This is one of our biggest victories, to win 4-2 on their ground, we were losing, we conceded in the 96th minute.
“Surely this is a victory which will go down in history.”
Croatia have only suffered one defeat in their last 16 matches, to World Cup winners Argentina, and quashed the Netherlands’ bid to win their first competition since the 1988 European Championship.
Ronald Koeman’s side finished as runners-up in the inaugural Nations League against hosts Portugal in 2019, while France triumphed in 2021.
Spain and Italy face off in Enschede on Thursday in the other semi-final.
England pick Broad for first Ashes Test
England have favoured Stuart Broad’s experience over Mark Wood’s raw pace for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston as they named their team on Wednesday.
With James Anderson and Ollie Robinson fit to return to the XI after resting injury niggles against Ireland at Lord’s, there was just one spot left in the seam attack for Friday’s series opener.
Captain Ben Stokes has previously spoken of his desire to have a bowler with express pace and, with Jofra Archer and Olly Stone on the sidelines, would have been tempted to pick Wood.
But Broad, with 582 Test wickets under his belt, and who led the attack impressively against Ireland, has got the nod.
His selection guarantees another chapter in the 36-year-old’s storied rivalry with Australia opener David Warner, who floundered badly against Broad in 2019, when the Englishman dismissed him seven times in 10 innings.
With spinner Moeen Ali slotting straight in at number eight after agreeing to return to Test cricket, the only question that lingers over the England side concerns the fitness of all-rounder Stokes.
The skipper’s longstanding left knee problems have been a source of constant speculation but he has ramped up his participation in training over the past 48 hours, bowling at close to full speed.
Opener Ben Duckett and fellow batter Harry Brook are the only players in the side who will be making their Ashes debuts in Birmingham.
England team for first Ashes Test at Edgbaston: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day