Football News Update: Netherlands Defeat Poland 2-1 in Euro 2024 Opener

In the opening game of Group D at Euro 2024, the Netherlands survived an early scare to defeat Poland 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.

Former Manchester United striker Wout Weghorst came off the bench to score the late winning goal for the Dutch, who had to fight back after Poland took an early lead.

Robert Lewandowski was absent for the Poles due to a hamstring injury, but his replacement Adam Buksa stepped up to give Poland the advantage, heading home from Piotr Zielinski’s corner in the 16th minute.

The Netherlands, however, were quick to respond as Cody Gakpo’s deflected shot in the 29th minute drew them level. Gakpo was a constant threat, registering a joint-record five attempts on goal in the first half of a Euros match.

The second half saw a spirited Polish team push for a winner, but it was the Netherlands who struck the decisive blow when Weghorst, who is still on the books of Premier League side Burnley, scored the winner just two minutes after coming on as a substitute, latching onto a clever pass from Nathan Ake.

“It was a tough match, a tough opponent,” said Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo. “We have to be more clinical, but overall, we performed pretty well.”

The result means the Netherlands top Group D after the opening round of fixtures, with France and Austria set to face off in the other match on Monday in Düsseldorf.

The Dutch will be hoping to build on this result as they look to secure a top spot in the group and advance to the knockout stages of the Euro 2024 tournament.

Key statistics:

  • Cody Gakpo has scored in all four of his group stage starts for the Netherlands at major tournaments.
  • Wout Weghorst’s goal was the fastest by a Netherlands substitute at the European Championships, coming just two minutes and 18 seconds after he came on.
  • The Netherlands had 21 shots against Poland, their most in a game at a major tournament since 2012 against Denmark.

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