"Outperformed VVD" "One of the most underrated players" - Fans hail Netherlands star's performance in 2-1 win over Poland in Euro 2024 clash

Wout Weghorst fired the winner but another player stole the show...
Wout Weghorst fired the winner but another player stole the show...

The Netherlands beat Poland 2-1 in their opening game of UEFA Euro 2024 on Sunday, June 16, and social media is abuzz with praises for defender Nathan Ake for his stellar display.

Wout Weghorst came off the bench to net the winner for Ronald Koeman's side in the 83rd minute, completing the turnaround. Earlier on, Cody Gakpo had canceled out Adam Buksa's opener for the Eagles.

The victory gives the Oranje some momentum ahead of their high-octane clash with France on matchday two next week.

It was a dominant display from the Dutch, who finished with 67% possession and 21 shots in the game, and yet, their star player of the day was a defender in Ake.

The Manchester City ace made four clearances, laid four key passes, and completed 94% of his passes too, turning in a player-of-the-match display. His best moment, though, was setting up Weghorst for the winner.

Driving forward with the ball, the 29-year-old spotted the striker in a good position inside the box, and squared the ball to him with a defense-splitting pass. Weghorst tapped it beyond Wojciech Szczesny to make it 2-1.

Fans heaped praise on Ake for a commanding outing. Here's how they reacted, with one blog page tweeting all his stats from the day:

Another one chimed in saying:

"Outperformed VVD."

One fan drew parallels between Ake and Dutch legend, Ruud Gullit:

Similar reactions followed, with one user saying:

"Nathan Ake is one of the most underrated players in football."

The sentiment was echoed by another fan, who wrote:

"Aké is so damn underrated what a masterclass."

Another fan tweeted:

The Netherlands next play France whereas Poland face Austria.

The Netherlands are off to a flying start

While it was just a 2-1 victory, the devil is in the details. The Netherlands produced a dominant performance to down Poland and make a winning start to their Euro 2024 campaign.

Poland threatened to cause an upset earlier on, when Adam Buksa headed them in front, but it was all Oranje from thereon. Ronald Koeman's side created the better chances, and with a little more cutting edge, would've won this game by a bigger margin.

Nonetheless, it's an encouraging win against a talented side, and adds more wind to their sails ahead of the crunch encounter with one of the tournament favorites, France.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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