Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn were on target as the Netherlands ran out 2-0 winners over Poland in Nations League Group A4 on Thursday.
The Oranje dominated the first half at the PGE Narodowy in Warsaw and went in at the break 1-0 up thanks to Gakpo’s close-range finish after 13 minutes.
Poland threatened an equaliser at the start of the second period, but Bergwijn sealed all three points on the hour mark with a composed finish.
The result means Louis van Gaal’s side just need to avoid defeat in their final group game against Belgium on Sunday to progress to the Finals next June.
The Netherlands lost Teun Koopmeiners to injury inside the opening five minutes, but they went ahead when Gakpo applied the finishing touch inside the six-yard box following a flowing move that cut through Poland’s backline with ease.
Memphis Depay squandered a golden opportunity to double the visitors’ advantage, blazing over from a tight angle when a simple pass to Gakpo would surely have resulted in a goal, while Steven Berghuis curled narrowly wide.
Poland were much brighter after the interval and twice went close to an equaliser through Arkadiusz Milik and Sebastian Szymanski.
Their hopes of getting back into the game were ended in the 60th minute, though, when Bergwijn coolly slotted past Wojciech Szczesny after being teed up by Vincent Janssen.
— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) September 22, 2022
What does it mean? Oranje barely break sweat
The Netherlands were excellent value for their win, with the only disappointment for Van Gaal being that they did not beat a poor Poland side by a greater margin.
Now they just need to safely navigate Sunday’s mouth-watering clash against their neighbours to book their spot in next year’s Finals.
Gakpo’s hot streak continues
Gakpo has scored eight goals in seven Eredivisie games for PSV this season and he continued that fine form on the international stage, stroking the Netherlands ahead early on with his third goal at this level.
Robert Lewandowski cut a frustrated figure up front for Poland. The Barcelona man has been one of Europe’s most potent strikers for the past decade, yet he failed to have a single shot here as his side struggled to break down their opponents.
Both sides wrap up their Group A4 campaigns on Sunday, with Poland visiting Wales at the same time as the Netherlands meet Belgium.
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