A late first international goal for Denzel Dumfries secured a thrilling 3-2 victory for the Netherlands in their Euro 2020 opener after Ukraine had fought back from two goals down.
Ukraine goalkeeper Georgi Bushchan frustrated the Oranje with a string of first-half saves, but his mistake gifted captain Georginio Wijnaldum the chance to open the scoring early in the second half.
Wout Weghorst added a second soon after in the Group C clash at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Sunday, but a stunning finish from skipper Andriy Yarmolenko 15 minutes from time gave Ukraine hope.
Roman Yaremchuk capitalised on slack defending to seemingly salvage a point in Amsterdam, but Dumfries nodded home the winner only five minutes from time to make amends for missing a glorious first-half chance.
What a moment for Denzel Dumfries!
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 13, 2021
Memphis Depay ended an incisive run by forcing a save from Bushchan and the Ukraine goalkeeper spread himself superbly to deny Dumfries in a promising start for the Oranje.
Wijnaldum blazed over the crossbar as he burst into the penalty area at full tilt before Ukraine lost Oleksandr Zubkov to injury only 13 minutes in, Marlos replacing the midfielder.
Bushchan rescued Ukraine again when he whipped the ball away from an onrushing Weghorst and Yarmolenko was denied a penalty when he felt Patrick van Aanholt had upended him as he surged into the Netherlands box, but no contact was made.
The Dutch continued to probe, but a wrong-footed Bushchan produced a magnificent reflex stop to keep out Wijnaldum’s deflected volley and unmarked wing-back Dumfries somehow headed wide from only six yards out with the best chance of an open first half.
Wijnaldum gave the Netherlands a deserved lead seven minutes after the break, though, finishing clinically with his left foot after Bushchan could only palm a cross into his path.
Weghorst added a second soon after, rifling in with his right foot from inside the penalty area and a VAR check ruling that Dumfries had not bundled over Vitalii Mykolenko, who Ukraine may also have felt was offside as the ball flashed past Bushchan.
Yarmolenko set the Dutch nerves jangling with a sublime long-range left-foot strike beyond Maarten Stekelenburg and Yaremchuk caught Weghorst napping to nod in Ruslan Malinovskiy’s free-kick, levelling with only 11 minutes to go.
Ukraine were unable to hold on for a point, though, as Dumfries popped up to head Nathan Ake’s cross inside the far post, Bushchan again at fault as he got two hands on the ball but failed to keep it out.
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