Netherlands defeat Poland, England frustrate Serbia

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Slovenia draw with Denmark

Netherlands defeat Poland, England frustrate Serbia

The Netherlands bounced back from one goal down after joker Wout Weghorst provided the 2-1 decider to edge stubborn Poland in Euro 2024 while Jude Bellingham's early goal secured England a narrow 1-0 win over Serbia in their opening encounter in Group C on Sunday, reported Xinhua.

The Dutchmen started brightly into the Group D clash but got stunned early on by the Poles as Piotr Zielinkski's pinpoint corner kick allowed Adam Buksa to open the scoring with 16 minutes gone.

Ronald Koeman's boys remained unimpressed and levelled the scores at the half hour mark through Gapko, who danced through Poland's defence before drilling his deflected shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Poland continued to push forward and kept the Dutch busy with counterattacks. However, Koeman's substitution in the closing stages paved the way for the victory as Weghorst capitalized on Nathan Ake's through ball to slot home two minutes after his fielding in the 83rd minute.

The Poles had the golden chance to clinch a late stalemate but custodian Bart Verbruggen's diving save secured the "Elftal" all three points.

"We were dominant in the first half and were the better team. We created six or seven really, good chances but we must be more clinical," said Weghorst.

With the result, the Netherlands take the top spot in Group D while Poland sit on the last place.

England won its second opening match of a EURO as Bellingham's header was enough to down Serbia.

The Three Lions caught a fairy tale start as the former Borussia Dortmund and now Real Madrid star nodded home Bukayo Saka's cross with 13 minutes into the clash.

England should have doubled the lead, but Serbia goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic tipped Harry Kane's dangerous header onto the crossbar in the 77th minute.

Serbia sparked to life in the closing stages and chanced it from the distance. However England goalie Jordan Pickford was equal to the promising efforts from Dusan Vlahovic and Veljko Birmancevic.

"They're a strong team. We had to suffer a bit, which I think is good for us to come through and defend our box the way we did under pressure, it was important for the group," said England coach Gareth Southgate.

The Three Lions top Group C whereas Serbia slip to the bottom spot.

In the other match of Group C, resilient Slovenia snatched a 1-1 draw after Erik Janza's second half equalizer shocked wasteful Denmark.


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