A late header from Denzel Dumfries earned the Netherlands a 3-2 win over Ukraine in their opening game of Euro 2020, with all five goals coming in the second half.
In frenetic opening 45 minutes, the free-flowing Dutch enjoyed the better chances. Georginio Wijnaldum forced Heorhiy Bushchan into a particularly good save, while Dumfries squandered a good chance at the back post.
Just seven minutes after the break the Dutch found a breakthrough with Wijnaldum smashing home to make it 1-0. Not long after it was 2-0 with Wout Weghorst finishing clinically in the box on his first appearance in a major tournament.
It took a moment of magic from Andriy Yarmolenko – who curled in a fine effort with 15 minutes to play – to spark Ukraine to life and set up a tense finale. Four minutes later they found an unlikely equaliser with Roman Yaremchuk nodding home from a free kick.
Incredibly this quickfire double-salvo was not enough to snatch Ukraine a point, with Dumfries arriving at the back post to nod home with five minutes to play.
Here is how each set of players rated on an entertaining night in Amsterdam…
Mark Stekelenburg (GK) – 6/10 – A very quiet afternoon, Yarmolenko stunner aside. We did not learn a lot about his abilities and question marks remain.
Jurrien Timber (CB) – 7/10 – A few shaky moments but he was largely fine. He looked very comfortable in possession.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 7/10 – Very good. Showed his class and composure by marshalling the backline effectively.
Daley Blind (CB) – 7/10 – Pushed forward to join the attack at times and was solid at the back.
Denzel Dumfries (RM) – 8/10 – Always involved. His energy was unbelievable and caused Ukraine all manner of problems. Should have scored in the first half and then did score in the second. Saying that, his defending was a bit suspect.
Martin de Roon (CM) – 6/10 – Ludicrous work rate. He found space effectively throughout but was a bit headless at times.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 8/10 – Popped up all over the place but did his best work in the right half-space. Some of his combinations with Dumfries were excellent and he took the goal excellently.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 7/10 – Added some much-needed composure to the Dutch’s manic midfield. Close to spotless in possession.
Patrick van Aanholt (LM) – 6/10- Always looked to get forward but was not quite as effective as Dumfries on the opposite flank. Made one very risky tackle in the first half which could have led to a penalty.
Wout Weghorst (ST) – 7/10 – Provided a focal point when his side needed it and worked hard. Clinically grabbed the second goal but did lose his man for Ukraine’s equaliser.
Memphis Depay (ST) – 7/10 – A classy display. He was a constant threat in transition.
Nathan Ake – 6/10 – Slotted into the back three and will be hoping to start the next game. Excellent late assist.
Owen Wijndal – 6/10 – Did not do anything wrong.
Luuk de Jong – N/A
Joel Veltman – N/A
Donyell Malen – N/A
Georgiy Bushchan (GK) – 7/10 – Made several excellent saves in the first half. Not great after the break, though, parrying the ball straight into the path of Wijnaldum for the first goal.
Oleksandr Karavaev (RB) – 6/10 – Put in a good shift. The Netherlands did not get much joy down the left-hand side.
Ilya Zabarnyi (CB) – 6/10 – Read things intelligently after suffering an early scare courtesy of Depay. Finished with four interceptions – a game high.
Mykola Matviyenko (CB) – 6/10 – His team’s most committed defender. He registered three blocks and four clearances.
Vitaliy Mykolenko (LB) – 5/10 – Did not offer a great deal which is a shame as Dumfries left a lot of space in behind.
Ruslan Malinovskyi (CM) – 6/10 – Tried to make things happen but was not particularly successful. Set up his side’s equaliser with a pinpoint free kick.
Sergiy Sydorchuk (CM) – 5/10 – Let the game pass him by somewhat. Did not get on the ball enough to show any quality.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (CM) – 4/10 – Needed to be more creative when he got the ball. He must improve on the ball if his team are to progress at the tournament. Poor defending for the winner.
Andriy Yarmolenko (RW) – 7/10 – Underwhelmed for most of the game and then burst into life with a goal of the tournament contender.
Roman Yaremchuk (ST) – 7/10 – Movement was not bad but he did not get the service. When he finally did, he headed home beautifully.
Oleksandr Zubkov (LW) – 6/10 – Lasted about ten minutes before being forced to withdraw with injury.
Marlos – 4/10 – A bit too relaxed about his defensive responsibilities. Hauled off with 20 minutes to play – the ultimate embarrassment.
Mykola Shaparenko – 6/10 – Added energy.