Since the start of the Euros last week we’ve all been waiting for a game to completely blow us away – and last night, we finally got it. The Netherlands and Ukraine, considered to be the strongest contenders within Group C, went to war in an enticing clash in Amsterdam. The Dutch had to overcome some adversity but in the end, they were the ones able to pull a vital 3-2 win out of the bag.
Both good, or both bad?
There’s a lot to be said for how effectively both teams were able to come back from the brink here which tells us a lot about their resolve moving forward. However, it also suggests that there are some real defensive holes within both camps. That’s not to say they can’t fix these problems because they should be able to do so between now and their next games, but we shouldn’t underestimate just how sloppy some of the defending was – outside of Yarmolenko’s screamer, that is.
The Wijnaldum factor
The talisman, the captain, the saviour – Georginio Wijnaldum has really come into his own in the last few years and now, he’s ready to be the one who leads the Oranje to glory – or, at least, he’s ready to try. He was at the forefront of many creative moves for his side last night and in addition to that, he also smashed home the opening goal of the game. He won’t be the only catalyst behind this side doing well, but he might be the main one.
No Dutch overestimations
Frank de Boer does not feel like the right man to lead the Netherlands forward into the future and this one result isn’t going to change that. He has exceptionally talented players at his disposal but when we get to the knockout phase of the tournament, we think some of his tactical shortcomings are going to present themselves in a substantial way. The Netherlands can celebrate the win and one happened but getting too carried away would be a big mistake, especially at such an early point in the Euros.
Netherlands: Stekelenburg (6), Blind (6.5), de Vrij (6.5), Timber (6.5), van Aanholt (7), de Jong (8), de Roon (6.5), Dumfries (7.5), Wijnaldum (7.5), Depay (7.5), Weghorst (8), Malen (6), Wijndal (6), Ake (6.5), Veltman (6), de Jong (6)
Ukraine: Bushchan (6), Karavaev (6.5), Zabarnyi (7), Matvienko (6.5), Mykolenko (6.5), Malinovskiy (7), Sydorchuk (6), Zinchenko (7), Yarmolenko (7.5), Yaremchuk (8), Zubkov (6), Shaparenko (6.5), Bonfim (6)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych
Goals: Wijnaldum, Weghorst, Dumfries :: Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk
Yellow Cards: Sydorchuk
Red Cards: N/A
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