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Poland 1-2 Netherlands: Dutch miss out despite comeback win

The Netherlands turned the game around with two late goals but finished second in Group A1.

Highlights: Poland 1-2 Netherlands

Georginio Wijanldum won a penalty and then scored a late winner as Netherlands came from behind to triumph – but it was not enough for them to reach the finals.

Poland vs Netherlands: as it happened, reaction

Match in brief

The home side got off to a dream start when Kamil Jóźwiak opened his international account in stunning style, bursting down the left before cutting inside to net a superb solo goal.

It almost got even better for Poland when Przemysław Płacheta cut in from the other flank, only for his effort to rebound off the post.

In between those two attempts, Donyell Malen had headed a glorious chance wide, while Łukasz Fabiański denied Frenkie de Jong as the visitors pushed for a leveller.

The Dutch dominated after the break, and finally got back on level terms when Memphis Depay netted from the spot after Jan Bednarek was adjudged to have fouled Wijnaldum.

Georginio Wijnaldum struck the late winning goal
Georginio Wijnaldum struck the late winning goalANP Sport via Getty Images

And six minutes from time the turnaround was complete when Wijnaldum met Steven Berghuis's corner at the near post and his header nestled in the far corner.

Piotr Kozminski, Poland reporter

It was a much better performance from Poland than their effort against Italy, but they still end up with nothing to show for it after being beaten by a Netherlands comeback. The withdrawal of Robert Lewandowski at the break made things much harder for them, and with Depay in excellent form, it looked like just a matter of time before the home side were pegged back, and so it proved.


Georginio Wijnaldum, Netherlands midfielder, speaking to UEFA.com: "We created lots of good chances and finally prevailed. It is true we won our second game in a row but if you ask me whether we are going in a good direction, I would say we still have things to improve on, but of course we take positives from these wins."

Lewandowski takes positives from Dutch defeat

Kamil Jóźwiak, Poland winger, speaking to UEFA.com: "It is a wonderful feeling to score my first goal for Poland. But there is also the bitter part – we lost the game. From that point of view, I am disappointed as we could have scored a second, but we did not manage to and then conceded twice. It's disappointing but compared to our game against Italy, we have progressed in many aspects."

Key stats

  • Jóźwiak scored his first international goal on his eighth appearance.
  • Poland have only won two of their ten matches in the UEFA Nations League, and have scored one goal or less in seven of them.
  • This was the Netherlands' first away victory in the UEFA Nations League.
  • The Netherlands had lost all three of their previous matches in Chorzow.
  • Poland have scored the first goal in ten of their last 16 competitive fixtures.
  • Thirty-two of the Oranje's last 46 goals have been scored in or after the 55th minute.
  • Depay has scored 12 goals in his last 21 games for the Netherlands, and all bar two of them have come in the final 35 minutes.
  • Wijnaldum has scored 13 goals in his last 20 international appearances.


Robert Lewandowski was substituted at half-time
Robert Lewandowski was substituted at half-timeGetty Images

Poland: Fabiański; Kędziora, Glik, Bednarek, Reca (Rybus 81); Płacheta (Grosicki 76), Krychowiak (Linetty 71), Klich, Zieliński (Moder 71), Jóźwiak; Lewandowski (Piątek 46)

Netherlands: Krul; Hateboer (Dumfries 57), De Vrij, Blind (L de Jong 84), Van Aanholt; Klaassen (Van de Beek 70), Wijnaldum, F de Jong; Stengs (Berghuis 70), Depay, Malen

What's next?

The UEFA Nations League final tournament takes place from 6-10 October 2021. Teams will return to competitive action in the spring in the European Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.