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Supersub Wout Weghorst scores late again in Netherlands’ win over Poland at Euro 2024

Netherlands forward Wout Weghorst loves to make a big impression off the bench and he did it again Sunday late in a 2-1 win over Poland at the European Championship in Hamburg, Germany.

The giant striker struck with a low left-foot shot in the 83rd minute with his first touch after coming on to replace Memphis Depay who had wasted several shooting chances.

The late win puts some pressure on Group D favourite France, which already beat the Dutch twice in qualifying last year and plays Austria on Monday.

Poland was forced to cope without its injured star Robert Lewandowski but soon found a goal from his replacement who matured in Major League Soccer.

Adam Buksa used all his 6-foot-3 height when circled by four Dutch defenders at a 16th-minute corner to guide a header into the net. Buksa had 2 1/2 prolific years with New England Revolution until 2022.

Cody Gakpo leveled in the 29th with a shot that was deflected and deceived goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny. It was fair reward for a vibrant first half for the Dutch.

Gakpo is a fast starter at major tournaments. He scored in all three group games at the 2022 World Cup where the Netherlands reached the quarterfinals and lost to Argentina only in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw. That day in Doha, Weghorst forced extra time with two late goals after coming on in the 78th, also to replace Depay.

About 50,000 Dutch fans made the short trip to Hamburg and there was a shooting incident involving police before the game in the downtown St. Pauli district near where many had gathered. It did not seem related to the soccer.

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Police said they shot and injured a man

Denmark’s Eriksen returns to secure draw with Slovenia

For Christian Eriksen, Denmark’s opening game at the European Championship was a much happier occasion this time.

The Manchester United midfielder scored the opening goal in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia on Sunday. It was his first match at the Euros since suffering a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s opener in the previous edition of the tournament in 2021.

Eriksen neatly slotted a finish into the corner in the 17th minute of the Group C game in Stuttgart.

Erik Janza equalized for Slovenia in the 77th with a shot that took a big deflection and span beyond Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

It was exactly 1,100 days ago that Eriksen collapsed on the field at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen while playing for Denmark against Finland. In scary scenes, medics worked frenetically to give him chest compressions before he was carried away on a stretcher.

He returned to the sport in 2022, fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

England defeats Serbia

Jude Bellingham scored to give England a winning start at the European Championship by beating Serbia 1-0 on Sunday.

The Real Madrid star put Gareth Southgate’s team in front with a stooping header in the 13th minute at the Veltins Arena from Bukayo Saka’s cross.

The buildup to the game had been overshadowed by concerns about violence between rival supporters. And some of those fears were realized when police rushed to separate brawling fans in Gelsenkirchen earlier in the day.

Social media footage showed men throwing chairs at each other outside a restaurant festooned with Serbian flags in the city.

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England fans were soon celebrating once the game got underway after Bellingham’s early goal.

Harry Kane so nearly extended the lead in the second half when Serbia goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic pushed his far post header onto the underside of the bar.

Kane set a record for his country by making his 23rd appearance at a major tournament.

Victory sent England to the top of Group C after Denmark drew 1-1 with Slovenia in an earlier game, with Christian Eriksen scoring three years after suffering a cardiac arrest on the field at the last Euros. England plays Denmark on Thursday.

England was a beaten finalist at the last Euros, losing on penalties to Italy in the final three years ago. It is one of the favorites this time around. Serbia is playing in the Euros for the first time since 2000.

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