Two assists for Ake as Dutch start with victory over Poland

Two assists for Ake as Dutch start with victory over Poland
Two assists for Ake as Dutch start with victory over Poland

Nathan Ake’s Euro 2024 began with two assists as the Netherlands opened their tournament campaign with a 2-1 win over Poland.

In an open, entertaining match in Hamburg, Ake played at left-back in Ronald Koeman’s  4-2-3-1 formation, adding vital support down the left flank throughout.

But it would be the Dutch defence that was breached first when Poland opened the scoring on 16 minutes.

Adam Buksa was allowed space and time to head home a corner from Piotr Zielinski, with Ake was on the back post while several of his team-mates were positioned zonally and unable to attack the ball.

But the Dutch hit back on 29 minutes and Ake played a vital role.

A wayward clearance saw Ake intercept the loose ball and play it to Liverpool’s Cody Gapko who saw his deflected shot from 20 yards beat the keeper to level the scores.

Ake gave a typically calm and assured performance from start to finish as the City favourite earned his 46th cap.


Both sides had chances to score again, and it seemed the game was heading for a draw when Ake again provided an assist for what would prove to be the winning goal.

This time the City defender played a clever short pass into the Polish box where it was swept home by Burnley’s Wout Weghorst from close range – his 12th Netherlands goal – and also his first touch since coming on as a sub two minutes before.

Ake’s game ended on 87 minutes when he was replaced by Tottenham’s Micky van de Ven as the Dutch held out for a 2-1 win.

France are the next opponents for Ake’s Netherlands next Friday (20:00 UK), with the French in action against Austria on Sunday evening.