Tribal Football

Weghorst strikes late to hand Netherlands Euros win over Poland

Weghorst strikes late to hand Netherlands Euros win over Poland
Cody Gakpo
Cody GakpoAction Plus
Poland were defeated under the management of Michał Probierz for the first time, as a late Wout Weghorst winner gave the Netherlands a 2-1 win in Hamburg in Group D’s opening match at the 2024 UEFA European Championship.

Looking to capitalise on the absence of Poland’s talisman Robert Lewandowski, the Netherlands began brightly, and tested Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny within two minutes of kick-off, when Cody Gakpo tried to catch him out at his near post.


Tijjani Reijnders then should have done better with the next opportunity, but after meeting Jerdy Schouten’s square pass inside the box, he failed to connect cleanly and his strike trickled narrowly wide.

Having soaked up the early pressure, Poland took the lead in the 16th minute through the man tasked with replacing Lewandowski.

Adam Buksa climbed highest at the near post to head Piotr Zieliński’s corner beyond Bart Verbruggen’s reach for his seventh international goal.

The Dutch were determined to make a rapid response, but Szczęsny was alert to a Virgil van Dijk volley before Memphis Depay twice fluffed his lines from close range.

The Oranje pressure finally paid off shortly before the 30-minute mark when Gakpo equalised with an effort from just outside the area, though a touch of good fortune was still required, as only a huge deflection off Jan Bednarek took it away from Szczęsny.

Both sides had chances to go into HT ahead, but Jakub Kiwior’s strike was kept out by Verbruggen, before Gakpo and Depay both missed the target with the goal gaping.

Key stats from the match
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Ronald Koeman’s men began the second half camped in Polish territory, but needed a counter-attack on 54 minutes to create their opportunity after the break, when a free-flowing move from their own area ended with Xavi Simons shooting just wide from 18 yards.

That acted as a wake-up call for The Eagles, who forced errors from the Dutch defence and Verbruggen into a double save before the hour mark, as Kiwior and Zielinski took aim.

Poland seemed to be edging closer to equalling their points total from Euro 2020 thanks to stalwart Szczęsny thwarting a Denzel Dumfries effort after he linked up well with Depay down the right with 20 minutes to go, only for Netherlands to strike late on.

Nathan Aké was afforded too much space on the right, and his deflected pass into the area fell kindly for Wout Weghorst, who applied a clinical finish.

Having seen their brave resistance finally crumble, Poland pushed for an equaliser but late Verbruggen saves mean they remain without a win at the Euros since 2016.

Meanwhile, the 1988 champions have begun with a win at a third major tournament in succession.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Cody Gakpo (Netherlands)

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