Poland 1-2 Netherlands player ratings: ‘Positive’ Liverpool man impresses in dramatic Oranje win

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The Netherlands kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with a dramatic 2-1 win over Poland in Hamburg on Sunday.

With France and Austria also in their group, this match provided the Dutch with a vital opportunity to get some early points on the board. However, they were made to work hard as Poland took the lead in the 16th minute through Adam Buksa.

It took just 13 minutes for the impressive Cody Gakpo to pull Oranje level, but from there, it was a game of cat and mouse as the Netherlands dominated and Poland carried a constant threat on the break.

Ronald Koeman’s side had to wait until the 83rd minute to find the winner as substitute Wout Weghorst provided a superb first-time finish from Nathan Ake’s ball into the box. The goal sparked incredible scenes of celebration among the large Dutch contingent inside Volksparkstadion and delivered what could prove to be a very important victory at this early stage.

Here are the full player ratings from Hamburg:

Poland vs Netherlands player ratings

Poland

Wojciech Szczęsny – 7/10 – Deflections wrong-footed him for the Gakpo goal so cannot be blamed. Made a couple of important saves to keep Poland fighting.

Jan Bednarek – 6/10 – Had a difficult afternoon as Gakpo and Depay targeted his side, but the Southampton man stood up to the test well enough.

Bartosz Salamon – 8/10 – Made some vital clearances and last-ditch challenges as the Dutch threatened to run riot.

Jakub Kiwior – 6/10 – Endured some sloppy moments on the ball, but defended well enough and provided a set-piece threat.

Przemyslaw Frankowski – 4/10 – Didn’t look at all comfortable dealing with Gakpo. Was breezed past time and again and lost more ground duels (7) than any other player on the pitch. Ensured Bednarek behind him was kept busy.

Piotr Zielinski – 8/10 – Provided a beautiful cross for the Polish opener and was always the outlet for his side when they needed a bit of quality and composure.

Taras Romanczuk – 5/10 – Battled hard but sometimes seemed at odds with the sheer pace of the game.

Nicola Zalewski – 7/10 – Fared much better in his wing-back role than Frankowski, both with and without the ball.

Kacper Urbanski – 5/10 – Only touched the ball 19 times before being brought off just before the hour mark.

Sebastian Szymanski – 5/10 – Was unable to exert the sort of attacking influence on the game as he’s been able to in a Fenerbahce shirt. Brought off at half-time.

Adam Buksa – 7/10 – Per Squawka, Buksa is the first Polish player to score a first-half goal in the Euros group stages since Robert Lewandowski in the Euro 2012 opener. He enjoyed his moment but often cut an isolated figure afterwards.

Substitutes:

Jakub Moder (46′, for Szymanski) – 6/10 – Showed quality on the ball but missed a couple of decent chances.

Karol Swiderski (55′, for Urbanski) – 5/10 – A couple of dangerous moments but his decision-making let him down at vital moments.

Bartosz Slisz (55′, for Romanczuk) – 6/10 – Neat and tidy on the ball but didn’t change the game.

Jakub Piotrowski (78′, for Zielinski) – 6/10 – Looked lively and provided fresh legs after Zielinski tired.

Bartosz Bereszynski (86′, for Salamon) – 5/10 – Didn’t get into the game.

Netherlands

Bart Verbruggen – 7/10 – Made a couple of important saves as Poland kept on pushing.

Denzel Dumfries – 7/10 – Provided great attacking thrust down the right for the Netherlands, with the only issue being the space he left behind, although that was probably under instruction from Ronald Koeman.

Stefan de Vrij – 9/10 – Put in an imperious defensive performance with a match-high four tackles, as well as winning all seven of his combined aerial and ground duels. Shut down Polish counter-attacks all afternoon.

Virgil van Dijk – 7/10 – A little flat-footed for the Poland goal, although Buksa wasn’t his responsibility. Very solid otherwise.

Nathan Ake – 8/10 – Very often a functional player for Manchester City, Ake was a dynamic presence down the left for the Netherlands. Created four chances, including the one for Weghorst’s winner.

Joey Veerman – 6/10 – Was slow in following Buksa for the Poland goal, but made up for it with some slick and tidy play. Just faded out of the game in the second half.

Tijjani Reijnders – 6/10 – Busy and dynamic, but lacked some composure in breakthrough moments.

Jerdy Schouten – 7/10 – Put in the sort of steady performance that made him a vital player in PSV’s Eredivisie-winning side last season. Tidy on the ball and hard-working without it.

Xavi Simons – 7/10 – Worked incredibly hard and used his pace to good effect to keep the Polish defence worried, but lacked the finishing touch and composure to decide the game.

Memphis Depay – 6/10 – Showed several flashes of the brilliance we know he’s capable of but very much played the back-up role as Gakpo ran the Dutch attack. Especially in the first half.

Cody Gakpo – 8/10 – “Gakpo looks fit and confident. He is positive with his runs and is getting in good areas,” Danny Murphy told BBC One of Gakpo. Murphy was spot on, with the Liverpool man completing the most dribbles (4) of any player in the match, as well as winning the most fouls (4) and duels (14). Gakpo was electric and fully deserved his goal, with a winning contribution the only missing piece as he faded toward the end.

Substitutes: 

Donyell Malen (62′, for Simons) – 7/10 – Stepped up the pace when he came on with his direct dribbling and skill.

Georginio Wijnaldum (62′, for Veerman) – 5/10 – Didn’t really get into the game.

Jeremie Frimpong (81′, for Gakpo) – 5/10 – Wasn’t on long enough to shine like he does for Bayer Leverkusen.

Wout Weghorst (81′, for Depay) – 8/10 – Wasn’t on the field for long either, but didn’t need long to make the difference as he delivered the win with his first touch of the match.

Micky van de Ven (87′, for Ake) – 6/10 – Came on late and made a couple of clearances.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting to see how Slot uses Gakpo as Diaz is also doing the business for Columbia. Nice problem to have.

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