The Netherlands faced Ukraine in their first game of the Euros in front of their home crowd at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The Dutch were without their star centre-back, Matthijs de Ligt and faced against a Ukraine side who have not lost in their last six games.
The match began brightly for the Netherlands when Memphis Depay intercepted the ball in his own half and ran across the pitch to have his shot saved by the Ukraine keeper comfortably.
However, the Dutch came close again in the 5th minute when Georginio Wijnaldum’s pass inside the box allowed Denzel Dumfries to have a clear chance at goal. But it was incredibly saved by Heorhiy Bushchan by making himself big to deny Holland the lead.
Less than 10 minutes until half time, Wijnaldum’s volley was once again saved by Bushchan with his left hand.
The first half ended with the Netherlands dominating the half, but Bushchan’s impressive saves kept the game goalless.
It was at the 52nd minute when Holland broke the deadlock after a cross by Dumfries was redirected by the goalkeeper to Wijnaldum, who smashed it in the net.
A couple of minutes later in the 58th minute, Holland doubled their lead after a charging run by Dumfries into the Ukraine box led to a poor clearance towards Wout Weghorst, who gave the goalkeeper no chance of saving the shot.
The game was practically over for Ukraine until the West Ham forward, Andriy Yarmolenko, scored a screamer with his left foot outside the box with 15 minutes left to play.
Even though Holland was in the lead, pressure was building up around the stadium which was answered with Ukraine equalising in the 79th minute. An unnecessary foul was given away to allow Ukraine number 9, Roman Yaremchuk to header the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg from a set-piece delivered by Ruslan Malinovskiy.
It seemed like the game was about to end with both teams sharing the points until Nathan Aké’s cross in the 85th minute led to Dumfries scoring the winner with a header.
The game ended 3-2 to the Netherlands after a nervy last quarter. Dumfries saved his nation a precious 3 points while breaking the hearts of the Ukraine players and fans.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020
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