• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Euro 2024: Weghorst seals dramatic win for Netherlands against Poland

Weghorst

In a thrilling Euro 2024 opener, substitute Wout Weghorst delivered a late winner as the Netherlands triumphed 2-1 against Poland on Sunday.

The Burnley striker, who shone brightly at the 2022 World Cup, showcased his prowess on the grand stage once more in Hamburg.

Despite the absence of injured striker Robert Lewandowski, Poland took the lead through Adam Buksa’s header after 16 minutes at the Volksparkstadion. Cody Gakpo equalised for the Netherlands with a deflected effort.

As the game appeared destined for a draw in Group D, Weghorst emerged as the hero with a decisive strike in the 83rd minute.

“I am thrilled; this feels incredible, especially at a major tournament like this. It’s a dream scenario for me personally,” Weghorst said after the match.

“This victory is crucial to maintain our momentum. It’s a fantastic feeling for all of us. Our ultimate goal is to lift that trophy together.”

Dressed in their iconic vibrant orange, Dutch fans painted Hamburg’s streets with enthusiasm before kickoff, hoping to witness their team secure a second European Championship title. Coach Ronald Koeman, a former player who led Oranje to victory in 1988, guided his side with experience and ambition.

Despite lacking the star power of past generations like Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, the current Dutch squad boasts a dynamic trio upfront with Liverpool’s Gakpo alongside Memphis Depay and Xavi Simons. They started strong against Poland, testing goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny early on.

Poland, managed by Michal Probierz, capitalized on a rare venture forward to take the lead through Buksa’s precise header.

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk and Depay pressed for an equalizer, with Gakpo eventually levelling the score. His strike from outside the box deflected off Bartosz Salamon, leaving Szczesny helpless in the Juventus goal.

The victory sets a positive tone for the Netherlands, who impressed at the 2022 World Cup after missing out on Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. They aim to build on their early success in the tournament and pursue European glory once again.