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Netherlands come from behind to draw with Poland

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Rotterdam, June 12 (Ajit Weekly News) The Netherlands and Poland drew 2-2 in a hectic UEFA Nations League encounter here on Saturday, with the home team coming back strongly from 2-0 down.

After a 2-1 win against Wales in Cardiff with a totally different squad, the Netherlands’ coach Louis van Gaal returned to the line-up that beat Belgium 4-1 in Brussels on June 3. There were only two exceptions: captain Virgil van Dijk was replaced by Stefan de Vrij, while goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was not fit enough to start, meaning Mark Flekken earned his second consecutive cap.

Poland was without star striker Robert Lewandowski, rested by coach Czeslaw Michniewicz ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Belgium in Warsaw. With Lewandowski in the stands, Piotr Zielinski and Krzysztof Piatek started up front for Poland, reports Xinhua.

The home team took the initiative and created some opportunities through Davy Klaassen, Memphis Depay and Steven Berghuis, but it was Poland that took the lead out of nothing, as Aston Villa right-back Matty Cash surprised Flekken with a shot into the far corner.

The goal gave Poland more confidence and in the remainder of the half the Netherlands hardly caused any danger for the Polish defense.

Four minutes into the second half, Przemyslaw Frankowski broke through on the right side and assisted Piotr Zielinski for Poland’s second goal.

In the 51st minute, Davy Klaassen pulled one back for the Netherlands by tapping home from close range from Daley Blind’s cross, and just three minutes later right-back Denzel Dumfries’ shot went into the far corner to make it 2-2.

Entering the final quarter, both teams had chances. A Depay shot was saved by Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski, but the VAR saw a handball by Cash and the Netherlands was awarded a penalty.

Dutch captain Depay took the penalty but failed to score as he hit the post. The Dutch continued to attack, and just a minute later Depay’s header was magnificently saved by Skorupski.

The Netherlands thus still leads Group 4 in League A of the Nations League with seven points from three matches. Belgium, who drew 1-1 in Wales, is second with four points, Poland is third with four points and Wales is fourth with one point.

On Tuesday, the Netherlands will play Wales, while Poland take on Belgium.

–Ajit Weekly News

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