Steven Bergwijn scored a second half winner against Poland as Netherlands started life without Ronald Koeman.
Dwight Lodeweges took charge of the UEFA Nations League match after the appointment of Koeman as Barcelona manager last month and the interim boss carried on the work of his predecessor, leading Netherlands to a solid, if unconvincing, victory.
Nathan Ake started on the left side of the Dutch defence, with new Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek starting on the bench coming off for the final 15 minutes. Poland were missing Robert Lewandowski, with the Bayern Munich striker rested after his efforts in the Champions League.
The decisive moment of the match came on the hour mark when Frenkie de Jong found Hans Hateboer at the back post, with the ball diverted into the path of Bergwin who converted from close range.
Signs of a Bergwijn-Depay relationship developing. For all the young talent Netherlands boast at the moment, they are lacking a true goalscorer to lead the line. They have, however, adapted well over the last couple years, with Memphis Depay turning himself into a very modern, fluid forward. In Steven Bergwijn, he might not have a suitable partner. Ryan Babel played the role over 2019, but the Tottenham Hotspur man and Memphis showed signs of an understanding developing in the attacking third.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Memphis Depay (Netherlands): There has been a lot of talk about Memphis’ future in recent weeks, with the Lyon forward reportedly on Barcelona’s radar, and this performance will have surely piqued the interest of the Catalans even further. The 26-year-old was Netherlands’ liveliest player in the attacking third and made things happen with vision and a few tricks and flicks. On another night, he might have registered a goal and an assist.
Steven Bergwijn - Netherlands
Image credit: Getty Images
Netherlands: Cillessen 5, Hateboer 7, Van Dijk 7, Veltman 6, Ake 6, F.De Jong 7, Wijnaldum 5, De Roon 6, Promes 6, Depay 8, Bergwijn 7. Subs - L.de Jong, Van de Beek 5.
Poland: Szczęsny 6, Kędziora 5, Gil 5, Bednarek 5, Bereszyński 5, Szymanski 6, Krychowiak 7, Klich 6, Jozwiak 6, Zielinski 6, Piatek 6. Subs - Milik 4, Grosicki 5, Moder 5.
20’ - Just wide of the far post! That's the first real opportunity of the match, with Promes played through on goal by Bergwijn. The angle was tight and the Ajax man shot across the face of goal.
31’ - PIATEK... Cillessen saves! That was probably the best opportunity of the game so far and it fell to Poland! Poland gets the shot away from the edge of the box, but Cillessen makes the save. Piatek might have done better.
44’ - Off the post! That was the best piece of play of the opening 45 minutes, with Memphis clipping a pass over the Polish defence for De Jong. He cheated it down and fired off a volley on the turn, but it came back off the woodwork.
61’ - GOAL! Netherlands 1-0 Poland (Bergwijn): It's an opening goal for Netherlands and it's Bergwijn who has scored his first international goal! De Jong played an exceptional ball to the back post, Hateboer got across the marker to direct a pass into the middle and Bergwijn was on hand to finish from close range
- Dwight Lodeweges became only the second Netherlands head coach to win his first match in charge this century (after Dick Advocaat in 2017).
- Steven Bergwijn scored his first international goal for Netherlands, with Hans Hateboer also contributing his first assist for his country.