Euro 2024: Weghorst goal gives Dutch late victory over Poland

HAMBURG, Germany -- Wout Weghorst scored within two minutes of entering the game as a substitute to secure a 2-1 win for the Netherlands against Poland in their Group D opener in Hamburg.

Weghorst, who scored just two goals in 31 appearances for Manchester United while on loan at Old Trafford during the 2022-23 season, replaced the ineffective Memphis Depay in the 82nd minute as coach Ronald Koeman attempted one last throw of the dice after seeing the Dutch miss a series of chances.

Although Weghorst's time at United proved unsuccessful in front of goal, the Hoffenheim forward took his recent tally to seven goals in 11 appearances for his country when he broke clear of his marker to guide Nathan Ake's pass beyond Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny with a left-footed shot from ten yards.

With Poland missing their injured striker Robert Lewandowski, the Dutch had been favourites to win this game, but the 1988 European champions struggled to overcome Michal Probierz's team. The Poles opened the scoring when Adam Buksa, Lewandowski's replacement, scored with a header from Piotr Zielinski's 16th-minute corner.

Wout Weghorst scored a late winner for the Netherlands.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Lens forward Buksa, a former New England Revolution striker, escaped the attention of Denzel Dumfries at the near post to head past keeper Bart Verbruggen and give Poland the lead.

But the Dutch fought back with Virgil van Dijk forcing a fine save from Szczęsny with a volleyed shot before Cody Gakpo equalised with a deflected shot on 29 minutes.

Liverpool forward Gakpo then missed a golden chance to put the Dutch ahead on 42 minutes when he shot over the bar from 3 yards out. Both sides created, and wasted, a number of chances in the second half before Koeman made his late change by introducing Weghorst.

The forward repaid Koeman almost instantly by netting the winner, which gives the Netherlands the perfect start to the Euro 2024 campaign.