Denzel Dumfries scored a dramatic late winner because the Netherlands marked their long-awaited return to a serious event with a 3-2 victory over Ukraine in a outstanding Euro 2020 sport in Amsterdam on Sunday. Dumfries, the PSV Eindhoven full-back, headed in a cross from substitute Nathan Ake to finish a madcap second half after the house aspect eased right into a two-goal lead after which threw it away. Captain Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst each scored earlier than the hour mark on the Johan Cruyff Arena, just for Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk to briefly restore parity for Ukraine.
Frank de Boer’s aspect acquired there in the long run and the victory supplies a serious elevate to the Netherlands after their first sport at a serious competitors in seven years.
“I thought we were very balanced and dominated the game so we would like to see the same again going forward. We can be proud,” insisted De Boer.
They will now hope to construct on it on Thursday in opposition to Austria, who beat North Macedonia earlier in the identical Group C.
It was an excellent sport, and a crowd of round 16,000 created an environment match for the event on the dwelling of Ajax, the place supporters held up banners with messages of help for Christian Eriksen following the Denmark star’s cardiac arrest on Saturday.
Eriksen performed for Ajax earlier than shifting to Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 and several other Dutch gamers stay near the midfielder.
Defender Daley Blind performed with him in Amsterdam and wanted coronary heart surgical procedure himself in 2019 after being identified with myocarditis. He was in tears as he was substituted within the second half.
“Daley was quite emotional because he had some problems with his own heart,” De Boer stated.
“Even now Christian is one of his best friends and it is normal that there were lots of emotions.”
After failing to qualify for Euro 2016 or the 2018 World Cup, the Netherlands had been enjoying their first sport at a serious competitors since coming third on the 2014 World Cup.
They had not gained a sport at a Euro in 13 years, since a 2-0 win over Romania at Euro 2008.
The emergence of the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt has given supporters of the Oranje hope for the longer term.
Those supporters had been in high-quality spirits forward of the sport, bedecked in orange as they crammed the bars across the floor within the blazing sunshine, ideas of the pandemic showing far-off.
A brand new-look Netherlands
Yet Dutch optimism has been tempered by choice issues dealing with De Boer.
Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt missed this sport as he recovers from a groin harm, whereas Virgil van Dijk is just not on the event in any respect.
Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek withdrew from the squad and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was overlooked altogether after testing constructive for Covid-19.
De Boer has switched to a 3-5-2 formation and has actual stars in Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay up entrance.
The system has helped Wijnaldum — who has signed for Paris Saint-Germain — add a goal-scoring menace from midfield whereas Dumfries was a continuing menace down the suitable.
He ought to have scored late within the first half with a free header, after Ukraine goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan produced a high-quality save to maintain out a Wijnaldum volley.
The hosts acquired their reward shortly after the restart when Bushchan turned a harmful low ball by Dumfries out into the trail of Wijnaldum who fired dwelling.
Weghorst then lashed in a unfastened ball after extra good play by Dumfries, and the Netherlands appeared to be on simple road.
Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, at 38 the oldest participant ever to signify the Netherlands at a serious event, had not had a lot to do however then he was overwhelmed within the seventy fifth minute by an excellent curling strike from Yarmolenko.
Yaremchuk then headed in a Ruslan Malinovskyi free-kick and Ukraine appeared set to depart with a draw, however then Dumfries appeared.
“It is upsetting to lose like that at the end but not a tragedy,” stated Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko. “We still have two games to go.”
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