Denzel Dumfries’s Eighty fifth-minute header ruined Ukraine’s comeback and gave the Netherlands the right begin to their tenth European Championship problem, with victory to match Austria’s earlier within the day.
Roman Yaremchuk’s equaliser moments earlier than had appeared the ultimate salvo of a scintillating second half. It appeared additionally to have averted a sixth consecutive loss on the competitors finals, stretching again to their opening win at Euro 2012, for Ukraine, and given Andriy Shechenko’s facet a way they may make it into the knockout stage. However the draw was to not be.
But whereas Frank De Boer’s facet are up and operating, this disjointed show suggests they continue to be what they have been at kick-off: long-odds outsiders for the match.
After the Netherlands’ nine-year absence from the finals the 16,000 contained in the Johan Cruyff Area gave De Boer’s males a rousing greeting that featured excessive emotion for Ukraine from these within the variety of the war-torn nation.
In the course of the buildup De Boer had been quizzed a few change from the standard Dutch 4-3-3 to a 5-3-2, with the captain, Georginio Wijnaldum, conceding it was unfamiliar to some gamers. It meant the coach hoped the transfer wouldn’t backfire in a bet heightened by his handing of solely a 3rd cap to the 19-year-old Jurriën Timber, rather than the injured Mattijs De Ligt, as the suitable of the three centre-backs.
It was one of many dwelling nation’s two superior forwards, Memphis Depay, who lit the competition first. He swooped on the ball in his half and powered 60 yards in direction of Georgiy Bushchan’s objective. The run featured a nutmeg of Illia Zabarnyi although Depay’s shot proved a pea-roller, easy for the keeper to gather.
For what was Ukraine’s third Euro finals problem Shevchenko plumped for a 4-1-4-1 that contained Manchester Metropolis’s Oleksandr Zinchenko in midfield, West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko alongside the suitable, and Gent’s Yaremchuk the No 9.
Whereas Yarmolenko managed to threaten from a nook – the captain flicking a header vast – these in orange shirts have been working at a tempo that pulled Ukraine off form, as photographs from Dumfries and Wijnaldum illustrated. The Dutch, although, have been flaky when defending, particularly when Ukraine countered quick as Yarmolenko did, skating at Daley Blind, who nearly chugged again to cowl. Although the transfer broke down when the ball went in-field, there was rising proof De Boer’s five-strong rearguard was not steady.
Yarmolenko was as effervescent as Depay. A subsequent act was to zip inside and trigger Patrick van Aanholt to execute a exactly timed sort out or Felix Brych, from an ideal view, wouldn’t have waved away the penalty appeals because the No 7 went down.
Now got here the standout second of an entertaining opening 45 minutes: slick work had the Oranje dropping the ball on to Wijnaldum’s toes and when an prompt volley was deflected Bushchan needed to readjust neatly earlier than pulling off an outstanding save. Then, got here the interval’s poorest miss: from point-blank vary Dumfries put a free header vast.
Up to now the sport fell into the class of these stuttering affairs that always mark groups opening encounters at main tournaments. And now got here a two-goal burst from the Netherlands that each featured clumsy errors.
Sadly, too, every have been Vitaliy Mykolenko’s, with Dumfries concerned in each. First the suitable wing-back leapt on the ball when the defender slipped in possession, following this with a supply that sliced throughout Ukraine’s space tantalisingly in entrance of Bushchan. The No 1 may solely palm this into the trail of a galloping Wijnaldum, who despatched the Dutch trustworthy ballistic with a curving end. Moments later Mykolenko was outmuscled by Dumfries close to objective and when the ball popped again to Wout Weghorst the rangy Wolfsburg striker smashed dwelling for a 2-0 lead, VAR having dominated no foul on the left-back.
Yarmolenko, although, learn a distinct script, making the closing minutes invigorating by beating Maarten Stekelenburg with a 20-yard peach after receiving Yaremchuk’s flick. It had the yellow-shirted followers that studded the world hoping once more. A sense that turned to a way of triumph when Yaremchuk headed dwelling, just for Dumfries to win the match another time for the Netherlands.