The Netherlands had a comfortable two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst six minutes apart shortly after halftime in a chance match at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
But Ukraine, which impressed from the start before fading, returned to the game thanks to a stun from Andriy Yarmolenko with 15 minutes remaining, before shocking their hosts when Roman Yaremchuk led the free kick. by Ruslan Malinovskyi four minutes later.
It looked like a disappointing start to Frank de Boer’s tournament less than a year after an uncomfortable reign as boss of the Netherlands, before Dumfries – who should have scored twice in the first half – returned home on the center of Nathan Ake to spare the blushes of his two country and manager.
Netherlands: Stekelenburg (6), Dumfries (7), Timber (6), De Vrij (6), Blind (6), Van Aanholt (5), De Roon (6), Wijnaldum (7), F de Jong (7), Depay (5), Weghorst (7).
Subscribers: Ake (7), Wijndal (6), L De Jong, Veltman (n/a).
Ukraine: Bushchan (6), Karavaev (5), Zabamyi (6), Matviyenko (6), Mykolenko (5), Zinchenko (6), Sydorchuk (5), Malinovskyi (6), Yarmolenko (7), Zubkov (6), Yaremchouk (7).
Subscribers: Marlos (5), Sharapenko (6).
Man of the match: Denzel Dumfries
Netherlands win twice to cover uneven performance
The odds at either end in the opening 90 seconds set the tone for a game full of attacking intentions with a defensive form often an afterthought, with Memphis Depay turned down by Bushchan when he should have scored after a run of his own half.
Dumfries was initially refused by the Ukrainian goalkeeper a few minutes later before Wijnaldum came close, while Ukraine offered a glimpse of their own abilities with the ball but only threatened once with disturb Stekelenburg when he denied Yarmolenko from a tight angle.
A volley from Wijnaldum and a terrible miss header from Dumfries concluded the hosts’ chances before half-time, before the former made amends when the previously impressive Bushchan pushed a cross in his path, and he adamantly found the top corner of the edge of the box.
Ukraine barely caught their breath as they were two goals behind, as Dumfries’ pressure on Vitaliy Mykolenko released a ball to Weghorst to beat Bushchan again, but had to wait for his first goal to conformation. of the tournament due to a long VAR offside.
Visitors ran out of ideas until Yarmolenko got space to turn inside Patrick Van Aanholt and, having opened up the space on his left, defeated Maarten Stekelenburg with an unstoppable plunging coiled effort .
Just as they had been hit by a quick one-two, Ukraine would respond in the same way. Malinovskyi’s free kick was powerfully repelled by Yaremchuk in front of Weghorst, and suddenly the visitors were tied with 12 minutes remaining.
There was still time for another twist in the tournament game still fledging to this day, as Dumfries made amends for their previous failure with a strong header from Ake’s center to restore the Netherlands’ lead in the dying minutes, before finally taking the victory to set off for a winning start – so far from perfect – in Amsterdam.
What the managers said …
Netherlands Manager Frank de Boer: “This is the team I would like to see for the most part – obviously not to lose a 2-0 lead but I saw a team that played very balanced and were very dominant. is what we would like to see.
“We can be proud, I hope we can take a few more steps as we have done so far tonight. “
Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko: “I think it was a very interesting game, with a lot of moments and opportunities for both teams. I want to thank my team for the reaction they showed, especially after we lost 2-0 and almost lost the game.
“We had a great reaction, found the energy to go on the attack, changed formation, we were balanced and I think the team performed very well. “
Man of the Match – Denzel Dumfries
Dumfries ‘offensive night was uneven, which was quite impressive considering he scored one and contributed to the other two of the Netherlands’ three goals.
The winger had never scored for his country before Sunday night, but thanks in part to Ukraine’s stubbornly narrow defensive form and his own relentless movement for the ball, he proved his country’s game winner in of an evening full of action for the 25 years. old.
Go for facts
- It was the first game in European Championship history to see five goals scored in the second half of a game that was 0-0 at halftime.
- There were nine shots in the first 10 minutes of this game. Since 1980, when Opta has complete data on shots in the competition, this has been the highest number of shots in the first 10 minutes of a EURO game.
- Denzel Dumfries’ 85th-minute goal for the Netherlands was their last EURO-winning goal since current boss Frank de Boer scored an 89th-minute penalty against the Czech Republic at EURO 2000.
- Ukraine have lost each of their last six matches in the final of the European Championship, the longest streak in the history of the competition alongside Yugoslavia (six consecutive defeats from 1968 to 1984).
- The Netherlands ended a four-game losing streak at EURO. It was their fourth game in the competition at the Johan Cruijff Arena (three also at EURO 2000), remaining undefeated out of the four (V3 D1).
- Ukraine had failed to score any of their last 72 EURO shots before Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk scored with consecutive efforts, four minutes and six seconds apart.
- Andriy Yarmolenko scored his 41st goal for Ukraine in his 95th cap – only coach Andriy Shevchenko scored more goals for the national team (48).
- Gini Wijnaldum has scored 15 goals in his last 26 appearances for the Netherlands, having scored just eight times in his first 50 games for his national team.
- Ukraine’s Illia Zabarnyi (18 years and 285 days) has only become the second 18-year-old defender to play in EURO after Dutchman Jetro Willems in the 2012 edition.
- Maarten Stekelenburg (38 years and 264 days) became the oldest player to play for the Netherlands at EURO / World Cup, surpassing Edwin van der Sar’s record set in 2008 (37 years and 236 days).
Both teams are back in action on Thursday. Ukraine’s second group game comes first, against North Macedonia in Bucharest (kick-off at 2 p.m.). The Netherlands are back in front of their own fans later in the evening, welcoming Austria (kick off at 8 p.m.).