UPDATED: June 14, 2021 10:42 IST
The Netherlands and Ukraine played out one of the best matches in Euro 2020 with the Dutch making a winning return in a major tournament by beating the visitors 3-2 in Amsterdam on Sunday.
The Dutch were playing in their first major soccer tournament in seven years. The last time was at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when they reached the semifinals.
The Netherlands skipper Georginio Wijnaldum opened the scoring in the 52nd minute and the lead was doubled by Weghorst just 7 minutes later. But then Ukraine hit back in the space of 4 minutes as Andriy Yarmolenko and Yarmolenko found the back of the net once each in the 75th and 79th minute respectively.
Ukraine captain Yaremchuk’s goal was Ukraine’s first in six Euro final tournament matches.
The majority of Dutch fans had a stunned look on their faces when their team conceded the goals but they found their voices back again when Denzel Dumfries header sealed the deal for the Netherlands just 5 minutes from full time. It was the first goal for Dumfries in international football.
The Dutch had dominated large parts of the frenetic Group C match and deservedly went in front in the 52nd minute when captain Georginio Wijnaldum smashed a loose ball high into the net and striker Wout Weghorst doubled the advantage six minutes later with a scrappy finish.
Dumfries had wasted a glaring chance to score the opening goal late in the first half when he missed the target with a glancing header but he more than made amends with his late strike, helped by erratic goalkeeping by Ukraine’s Georgi Bushchan.
The Netherlands have lost only one of their last 11 international matches, winning six and drawing four of them, while Ukraine tasted defeat for the first time in seven matches, losing for the first time this calendar year after conceding for the first time in three matches.
“It was a very quick and interesting game with loads of opportunities for both teams. I would like to thank my team for the reaction they showed, especially after going 2-0 down we could have lost the game at that point,” Ukraine coach and former football legend Andriy Shevchenko said after the match.
The Netherlands will next face Austria on Thursday, while Ukraine plays North Macedonia in Bucharest. Austria beat North Macedonia 3-1 in an earlier Group C match.