Denzel Dumfries’ late header rescued three factors for the Netherlands of their Euro 2020 opener with an exhilarating 3-2 victory over Ukraine in Amsterdam.
The Netherlands had held a cushty two-goal lead via strikes from Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst inside six minutes of each other shortly after half-time, in a chance-laden recreation on the Johan Cruyff Area.
However Ukraine, who had impressed early on earlier than fading badly, sprang again into the sport via an Andriy Yarmolenko stunner quarter-hour from time, earlier than stunning their hosts as Roman Yaremchuk headed residence Ruslan Malinovskyi’s free-kick 4 minutes later.
That regarded like getting Frank de Boer’s event off to a disappointing begin lower than a 12 months into an uncomfortable reign as Netherlands boss, earlier than Dumfries – who ought to have scored twice within the first half – headed residence Nathan Ake’s cross to spare the blushes of each his nation and supervisor.
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).
Subs: 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), Yaremchuk (7).
Subs: Marlos (5), Sharapenko (6).
Man of the match: Denzel Dumfries
Netherlands win it, twice, to paper over patchy efficiency
Possibilities at both finish contained in the opening 90 seconds set the tone for a recreation stuffed with attacking intent with defensive form typically an afterthought, with Memphis Depay denied by Bushchan when he ought to have scored after a run from his personal half.
Dumfries was first denied by the Ukrainian keeper minutes later earlier than Wijnaldum got here shut, whereas Ukraine provided glimpses of their very own means with the ball however solely as soon as threatened to bother Stekelenburg when he denied Yarmolenko from a good angle.
A Wijnaldum volley and an terrible missed header from Dumfries wrapped up the hosts’ probabilities earlier than half-time, earlier than the previous made amends when the beforehand spectacular Bushchan pushed a cross into his path, and he emphatically discovered the highest nook from the sting of the field.
Ukraine had barely caught their breath once they had been two targets behind, as Dumfries’ strain on Vitaliy Mykolenko launched a free ball to Weghorst to beat Bushchan once more, however needed to watch for conformation of his first event purpose on account of a prolonged VAR offside verify.
The guests regarded out of concepts till Yarmolenko was given area to show inside by Patrick Van Aanholt and, having opened up area on his left, beat Maarten Stekelenburg with an unstoppable dipping curled effort.
Simply as that they had been hit by a fast one-two, so would Ukraine reply in sort. Malinovskyi’s free-kick was powerfully met by Yaremchuk forward of Weghorst, and all of the sudden the guests had been degree with 12 minutes to go.
There was nonetheless time for yet another twist within the recreation of the nonetheless fledgling event thus far, as Dumfries made amends for his earlier miss with a robust header from Ake’s cross to revive the Netherlands lead within the dying minutes, earlier than lastly seeing out victory to get off to a profitable – if removed from good – begin in Amsterdam.
What the managers stated…
Netherlands supervisor Frank de Boer: “That is the workforce that I wish to see for essentially the most half – clearly not throwing away a 2-0 lead however I’ve seen a workforce that performed in a really balanced manner, and was very dominant. That is what we wish to see.
“We might be proud, hopefully we are able to make some extra steps like now we have accomplished to date tonight.”
Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko: “I feel it was a really fascinating recreation, with lots of moments and alternatives for each groups. I wish to thank my workforce for the response they confirmed, particularly after we had been down 2-0 and virtually misplaced the sport.
“We had nice response, discovered vitality to alter to assault, modified formation, had been balanced, and I feel the workforce confirmed themselves very nicely.”
Man of the match – Denzel Dumfries
Dumfries’ attacking night was patchy, which was fairly spectacular contemplating he scored one and had a hand in making the opposite two of the Netherlands’ three targets.
The wing-back had by no means scored for his nation previous to Sunday night time however thanks partially to Ukraine’s stubbornly slim defensive form and his personal relentless motion for the ball, he proved his nation’s matchwinner in an all-action night for the 25-year-old.
- This was the primary ever match within the historical past of the European Championships to see 5 targets scored within the second half of a match that was 0-0 at half-time.
- There have been 9 photographs within the opening 10 minutes of this match. Since 1980, when Opta have full shot information for the competitors, that is essentially the most photographs within the opening 10 minutes of a match on the EUROs.
- Denzel Dumfries’ eighty fifth minute winner for the Netherlands was their newest game-winning purpose on the EUROs since present boss Frank de Boer scored an 89th minute penalty towards Czech Republic at EURO 2000.
- Ukraine have misplaced every of their final six matches on the European Championship finals, the joint-longest run within the competitors’s historical past alongside Yugoslavia (six straight defeats from 1968-1984).
- Netherlands have ended a run of 4 straight defeats on the EUROs. This was their fourth match within the competitors on the Johan Cruijff Area (additionally three at EURO 2000), remaining unbeaten throughout the 4 (W3 D1).
- Ukraine had failed to attain with any of their final 72 photographs on the EUROs earlier than Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk scored with consecutive efforts, 4 minutes and 6 seconds aside.
- Andriy Yarmolenko scored his forty first purpose for Ukraine in his ninety fifth cap – solely coach Andriy Shevchenko has scored extra targets for the nationwide aspect (48).
- Gini Wijnaldum has scored 15 targets in his final 26 appearances for the Netherlands, having scored solely eight occasions in his first 50 video games for his nationwide aspect.
- Ukraine’s Illia Zabarnyi (18 years and 285 days) grew to become solely the second 18-year-old defender to play on the EUROs after the Netherlands’ Jetro Willems on the 2012 version.
- Maarten Stekelenburg (38 years and 264 days) grew to become the oldest ever participant to play for the Netherlands on the EUROs/World Cup, overtaking Edwin van der Sar’s file set in 2008 (37 years and 236 days).
Each groups are again in motion on Thursday. Ukraine’s second group recreation comes first, towards North Macedonia in Bucharest (kick-off 2pm). The Netherlands are again in entrance of their very own followers later that night, internet hosting Austria (kick-off 8pm).