The Netherlands marked their return to a major tournament (after missing Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup) with a hardfought 3-2 win against Ukraine in Group C’ s Euro 2020 tie on Sunday.
After a scoreless first 45 minutes that deserved at least a goal, the floodgates opened in the second half as the Dutch ran out winners.
The Netherlands took a 2-0 lead through goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst before the hour mark, and it looked like the Oranje would stroll to an easy three points in the teams’ tournament opener.
However, the Ukrainians stormed back in style, scoring a pair of goals just four minutes apart to temporarily pull level.
While it was Roman Yaremchuk’s pin-point header in the 79th minute that equalized the score, Andriy Yarmolenko’s curling wonderstrike four minutes earlier stunned the crowd at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam and gave the Ukranians the boost needed to push for a point or three.
However, just when it looked as if the momentum had firmly shifted away from the Dutch, Denzel Dumfries restored the lead for good just five minutes from fulltime with a powerful header from the top of the penalty area that was just out of the reach of goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan.
It was the first time five goals were scored in a European Championship match in which the score was 0-0 at halftime.
The Dutch are now second behind Austria, who had earlier beaten debutant North Macedonia, in Group C.