The Netherlands started off their 2020 European Championship campaign with a few nervy moments as they edged out a spirited Ukraine 3-2 in Amsterdam on Sunday evening. Denzel Dumfries, who scored his first international goal, clinched the contest with a fine header in the closing minutes, as the Royals watched on at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
All the goals came in the second half after both sides played an entertaining but goalless opening period, where neither were shy of taking the game to the opponent. The Dutch led 2-0 before Ukraine fought back with a couple of goals in the space of 246 seconds to set up an exciting climax.
A highly entertaining first half saw both sides attack each other’s goals with a fair amount of regularity, as both keepers had a save to make.
Dutch skipper Gini Wijnaldum, who recently signed for PSG, opened the scoring as he pounced on a rebound from the Ukrainian keeper to sidefoot in to the top corner from 12 yards. Wout Weghorst lashed in the second six minutes later as the hosts looked set to clinch three points with ease.
Ukraine, coached by the legendary forward Andry Shevchenko, however had other ideas, kick starting a comeback with 15 minutes to go.
Ukraine first pulled one back with Andriy Yarmolenko's outstanding left footed 25-yard dipping finish before Roman Yaremchuk home powerfully four minutes later to silence the home fans.
The Dutch side however had the last laugh in what was an early contender for the match of the tournament, when five minutes from time, Denzel Dumfries rose above the defenders and headed it home. Ukraine, who had a spring in their step after the equalizer would have hoped for the winner to be saved Georgiy Bushchan got a hand to it while diving to his left.
The thrilling win meant the Netherlands had made a winning return to the major tournament stage after a seven-year absence.
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