The Dutch had to scrap to victory as Denzel Dumfries headed a dramatic late winner to earn the Netherlands victory over Ukraine who fought back from 2-0 down in a thrilling Euro 2020 Group C tie in Amsterdam.
Oranje boss Frank de Boer is hoping to use Euro 2020 to prove to fans he is the right man to lead the team into a successful new era after he had a rocky start to his international career in management.
The Netherlands started brilliantly as Georginio Wijnaldum, who scored an impressive eight goals in qualifying, opened the scoring from inside the box before striker Wout Weghorst’s instinctive finish doubled the lead as the Oranje led 2-0 after 58 minutes.
Ukraine did not give in, however, and fought back as Andriy Yarmolenko’s outstanding 25-yard dipping shot found a way past Maarten Stekelenburg in the 75th minute to give the visitors some hope. They stayed persistent and just four minutes later, Roman Yaremchuk headed the equaliser to silence the home side.
However, Dumfries’ excellent 85th-minute header, from substitute Nathan Ake’s cross, earned the Netherlands a massive victory on their return to the Euros after a seven-year absence.
Both teams are back in action on Thursday at Euro 2020 with Ukraine taking on North Macedonia in Bucharest and the Netherlands hosting Austria in Amsterdam.