Super-sub Wout Weghorst fires Netherlands to comeback win over Poland at Euro 2024

Super-sub Wout Weghorst fires Netherlands to comeback win over Poland at Euro 2024

Wout Weghorst fired Netherlands to a nervy comeback win over Poland to open their Euro 2024 campaign.

An entertaining affair in Hamburg saw Adam Buksa head the Poles ahead before Cody Gakpo’s deflected leveller later in the first half. As a disappointing draw loomed for the Oranje, Burnley striker Weghorst emerged off the bench to strike in the final ten minutes.

The intent in Sunday’s game was evident right from kick-off, when the stadium announcer’s attempt at a big ten-second countdown was shut down by a hasty Polish punt into Dutch territory.

It was Netherlands who showed most threat in front of goal however with Gakpo forcing a save two minutes in and Tijjani Reijnders placing an effort wide from near the penalty spot.

Poland led against the run of play in the 17th minute when Buksa, standing in up front for the injured Robert Lewandowski, rose highest at a corner to head his side in front.

That did little to dissuade the fierce Dutch pressure and Virgil van Dijk tested Wojciech Szczesny’s palms from a corner moments later before Memphis Depay lashed a good opening over the bar.

The equaliser came courtesy of a smart Nathan Ake interception, from an aimless long ball out of Polish territory which the left-back snaffled up with a deft touch to Gakpo, who swivelled and shot from range. That his strike pinged in via a deflection underlined how Netherlands had made their own luck on this occasion.

But their continued efforts weren’t to yield the go-ahead goal before the break, in the vein that Italy had managed last night against Albania, with Gakpo guilty of a bad miss from close range after another intelligent Ake run and pass.

Netherlands came out stronger after the break yet three Polish substitutions injected some vital energy and Jakub Kiwior tested the goalkeeper when collecting a smart cross with time and space at the far post.

The clock began to tick on an increasingly frustrated and tired-looking Dutch team, set in against a sturdy bank of white shirts. On 73 minutes they came close again when Stefan de Vrij flicked a header narrowly over the bar from a corner.

Ronald Koeman resorted to introducing Weghorst off the bench for the final ten minutes and it paid off with another smart Ake pass into the box finding the big Burnley striker, who finished first time to bag all three points.