Denzel Dumfries was the match-winner while Georginio Wijnaldum also impressed as Netherlands beat Ukraine 3-2 in Group C of the UEFA Euro 2020.
Netherlands marked their return to major international tournaments with a thrilling 3-2 win over Ukraine in their first Group C encounter of the UEFA Euro 2020 on Sunday at the Amsterdam ArenA.
In what was an entertaining encounter from the get-go, Netherlands were all over Ukraine in the first half but could not get in front because of some fine goalkeeping from Heorhiy Bushchan and some shoddy finishing. At the same time, the visitors too posed a threat on the break, with Andriy Yarmolenko particularly looking dangerous even as the first half ended goalless.
Seven minutes into the second half, the Oranje managed to break the deadlock through captain Georginio Wijnaldum’s smashing effort. Within minutes the hosts were two goals to the good as towering striker Wout Weghorst scored on his debut in a major international competition.
Ukraine, though, made a late surge as Yarmolenko pulled a goal back in the 75th minute with a curling strike before Roman Yaremchuk equalised four minutes later, setting up for a frantic finale. However, it was Netherlands that had the last laugh as Denzel Dumfries, who had missed a great chance in the first half, made no such mistake in the 85th minute to clinch it for his side.
It was a thoroughly entertaining affair in Amsterdam on Sunday. Despite the win, Frank de Boer’s men are second in Group C on goal difference behind Austria, who beat North Macedonia earlier in the day. Here are our player ratings for both sets of stars.
Maarten Stekelenburg: 6/10
The oldest player at the UEFA Euro 2020 had a quiet first half and did well to put Yarmolenko off on one occasion. More of the same after the break and not a lot he could have done about the goals.
Jurrien Timber: 7/10
On his first major international competition appearance, the 19-year-old showed good composure and maturity. Pushed high up when his team were in possession, positioned himself well to cut out attacks when Ukraine countered. Positive signs.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
Solid and reliable as ever. The Inter Milan star marshaled his backline well, won balls in the air and on the ground, and wasn’t afraid of pushing forward when in possession.
Daley Blind: 7/10
Having recovered fully from an injury, the veteran Ajax man brought his experience to the table as he chose his moments to push forward or stay back intelligently while always making good use of possession. Lack of pace not exposed, although there were times when Ukraine targeted his flank.
Denzel Dumfries: 8/10
Denzel Dumfries has had more touches in the opposition box than any other player so far at #EURO2020
Pitching a tent in the penalty area. 🏕
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2021
The PSV Eindhoven captain was in his elements on Sunday as he constantly made darting runs into the box from the right-wing back position. Should have buried home a free header in the first half but made amends by scoring the winning goal – his first for the national team. Had a part in the goals that came before as well. A bundle of energy.
Marten de Roon: 6.5/10
Did his bit to keep Ukraine in check and ensure that his team stayed on the front foot by recycling the ball efficiently. Does lack that bit of creative edge to his game, though.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 8/10
An all-action performance from the Netherlands skipper who was everywhere on the pitch. Winning the balls in midfield, driving the team forward and even posing a goal-threat. Had a stunning effort saved by an equally stunning save in the first half. Got his goal in the second to get his team off the mark.
Frenkie de Jong: 8/10
Constantly probed the Ukraine defence with his forward runs and threaded passes, trying to pick out the wing-backs or the forwards. Offers a sense of calm and composure each time he gets on the ball, which was crucial, especially in the latter stages as Netherlands sought to protect their lead.
Frenkie De Jong's game by numbers vs. Ukraine:
92% pass accuracy
14 passes into the final ⅓
11 duels won
5 ball recoveries
5 take-ons completed
3 fouls won
2 chances created
An absolute joy to watch. 😍 pic.twitter.com/PaU0nZ7rgp
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2021
Patrick van Aanholt: 6/10
Preferred over Owen Wijndal, the ex-Chelsea academy man did not justify the starting berth. Had freedom to romp forward on the left but didn’t make the best use of it. Wasn’t always comfortable defending against the dangerous Yarmolenko. Made a risky tackle in the first half but got away with it.
Wout Weghorst: 7/10
Had a couple of half-chances in the first half which he couldn’t take. Showed his clinical nature when a chance fell to him in the second half though, to put his team in the driver’s seat. Tracked back very well throughout in a hard-working effort.
Memphis Depay: 7/10
May not have scored on the night but for long parts of the game, Depay looked like the player most likely to do the damage in the final third. Caused worries in the Ukraine backline each time he ran at them with the ball. Sharp link-up play, good movement, the only thing missing on the night was a goal.
Nathan Ake: 7/10
Replaced Blind for the final 25 minutes or so. Got the assist for the winning goal.
Owen Wijndal: 6/10
Came on to replace van Aanholt in the 64th minute. Did okay.
Luuk de Jong: N/A
Late substitute for Weghorst.
Joel Veltman: N/A
On for Timber late on as Frank de Boer added more experience to help protect his side’s lead.
Donyell Malen: N/A
Stoppage time substitute for Depay.
Heorhiy Bushchan: 5.5/10
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 13, 2021
Enjoyed a fine first half as he made several important saves with the one to stop Wijnaldum being a particular standout. Couldn’t repeat the heroics after the break though as he parried the ball straight to Wijnaldum leading to the first goal and could not stop the second and third either.
Oleksandr Karavayev: 6/10
Largely solid on the right, with most of Netherlands attacks coming down the opposite flank. Not much of a presence in the attacking sense though.
Illya Zabarnyi: 6/10
Had some problems with Depay early on but did well to keep a lid on the Dutchman. Not at fault for any of the goals that his team ended up conceding.
Mykola Matviyenko: 6/10
Like his centre-back partner, Zabarnyi did well to hold his discipline in the face of waves and waves of Dutch attacks. But the whole backline crumbled after the break.
Vitaliy Mykolenko: 5/10
A tough time on the left side for Mykolenko as he was caught out for each of Netherlands’ first two goals. Needed to do a bit more going forward as well.
Ruslan Malinovskiy: 6/10
Looked classy each time he got on the ball and tried to force things going forward. But not everything he tried came off on Sunday night. Got the assist for the equaliser with a pinpoint free-kick delivery. Capable of much more though.
Serhiy Sydorchuk: 5/10
Made one good intervention to deny Depay a shooting chance in the first half. But was largely overwhelmed by the urgency and intensity shown by his Dutch counterparts.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 5/10
Manchester City’s Premier League winner was well off his best on the night for Ukraine. Did show composure on the ball and played some good passes but needed to do more in a creative sense. Lost his man for the winning goal.
Andriy Yarmolenko: 7/10
Only two players have scored a goal at European Championships for Ukraine:
🇺🇦 Andiry Shevchenko
🇺🇦 Andriy Yarmolenko
In good company. pic.twitter.com/dhZbP8fnUv
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) June 13, 2021
Ukraine’s main threat on the night, linked up well with Yaremchuk in the first half but could not make the most of the chances that came his way. Scored a stunning goal to drag Ukraine back into the game in the second period.
Roman Yaremchuk: 7/10
Was starved of service in the first half but did what he could to set Yarmolenko up for a couple of half-chances with neat backheels in the box. Got the assist for the first goal before scoring the second one to put Ukraine within a fighting chance of winning the contest.
Oleksandr Zubkov: N/A
A foot injury just a little over ten minutes in meant he had to be taken off.
On for the injured Zubkov early in the game. A couple of bright moments of link-up play aside did very little of note. Needed to do more defensively to track Dumfries. Taken off.
Mykola Shaparenko: 5/10
Replaced Marlos in the 64th minute. No impact.