Manchester City centre-back Nathan Ake has addressed his delight after scoring a rare goal for his country to help the Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 in an international friendly at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday evening.
Ake scored his side’s second goal of the contest to claim just his third goal in orange, helping Louis van Gaal’s side make a winning start to 2022. Tottenham Hotspur winger Steven Bergwijn put the hosts in front, but they were soon pegged back by a strike from Leicester City defender Jannik Vestergaard just four minutes later.
However, the Netherlands restored their lead just before the half-hour mark through City ace Ake. Former Manchester United man Memphis Depay then extended the Netherlands’ lead, before Christian Eriksen marked his first appearance for Denmark since suffering a cardiac arrest at the European Championship last summer with a fine goal, making it 3-2 shortly after half-time.
Van Gaal’s troops restored their two-goal cushion for a second time, however, through Bergwijn’s second. It secured the ideal start to the Netherlands’ preparations for this year’s tournament in Qatar, which will see them compete at the World Cup for the first time since 2014.
For Ake, who will be hoping to be part of Van Gaal’s final squad later this year, it was good to get himself on the scoresheet. He had not scored for his country since a 5-0 win over Estonia in November 2019.
On Instagram, Ake said: “Loads to learn from and improve but always good to start the preparations with a win and a goal. Atmosphere was great, thanks for the support, @onsoranje fans.”Ake, who has now earned 24 senior caps for his country, has been a bit-part player for City this season, making just 19 appearances in all competitions. He has only featured nine times in the Premier League this term, scoring once.
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