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Weghorst Nets A Late Winner As Dutch Down Poland

  • June 16, 2024
  • 3 min read
Weghorst Nets A Late Winner As Dutch Down Poland

Wout Weghorst scored almost on his first touch as the Netherlands beat Poland at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg in a European Championship group stage match on Sunday afternoon.

With the game petering out to a 1-1 draw, Manchester City’s Nathan Ake set up the former Manchester United striker to hook the ball past Wojciech Szczesny in the 83rd minute.

It was a come-from-behind victory for the Dutch and Roland Koeman’s side after they fell behind through Adam Buksa’s glancing header early in the first half. But the score was equalized when Liverpool attacker Cody Gakpo’s deflected shot found the net in the 29th minute. Poland, who left their captain Robert Lewandowski on the bench due to discomfort, seemed to take control of the game until the Dutch had other ideas.

The Dutch started the game strongly, dominating possession and testing Poland’s resolve with two shots on target within the first 15 minutes. However, their early dominance was undone when Buksa’s cushioned header, from a well-delivered Piotr Zielinski corner, put Poland ahead against the run of play.

Unfazed, the Netherlands immediately sought an equalizer. Captain Virgil van Dijk came close with a powerful half volley from a corner, only to be denied by Poland’s resolute goalkeeper Szczesny. The Dutch continued to press, but found themselves frustrated by Poland’s resolute defense, with a series of shots either going off target or being blocked.

Poland’s defensive wall was eventually breached in the 29th minute when Gakpo’s speculative shot deflected off a Polish defender, looping over the stranded Szczesny to tie the game. The goal injected fresh energy into the Dutch side, who continued to control the game but could not find a way past Szczesny again before the half-time whistle.

The second half resumed with both teams exchanging blows in search of a decisive goal. The match seemed destined for a draw until the 83rd minute when Weghorst, who came on as a substitute, found the back of the net. Aké, who had been instrumental throughout the match, provided the assist, marking his second of the game.

Weghorst’s goal proved to be the winner, giving the Netherlands a crucial three points and a significant confidence boost ahead of their next match against tournament favorites France on 21 June. The victory also rekindled memories of their sole Euro triumph in 1988, led by Dutch legends Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten also in Germany.

The win against Poland not only showcased the Netherlands’ attacking prowess but also highlighted their resilience and determination to succeed on the European stage.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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