Netherlands 3-2 Ukraine: Dutch shrug off late comeback to open with dramatic win

Denzel Dumfries headed the decisive goal five minutes from time after Ukraine had briefly threatened to leave Amsterdam with a share of the spoils.

The Netherlands were made to work hard for their first EURO final tournament win since 2008, Denzel Dumfries striking the late, decisive blow soon after Ukraine had briefly mounted a stunning comeback.

Match in brief

A frantic start paved the way for what was to come in Amsterdam. It was only goalless at half-time thanks in part to Georgiy Bushchan’s smart reflexes and in part to Denzel Dumfries’ failure to convert a gilt-edged back-post header.

Both players would be involved in the eventual opener seven minutes after the break, but it was captain Georginio Wijnaldum who pounced on the rebound after the visiting keeper had intercepted a cross from the right.

When Wout Weghorst applied an equally instinctive finish just before the hour, the game looked to be up for Andriy Shevchenko’s side. Andriy Yarmolenko had other ideas, though, cutting in from the right before curling in a glorious effort from the edge of the penalty area.

The momentum appeared to be all Ukraine’s when Roman Yaremchuk headed in four minutes later, yet Dumfries had the final word when he rose highest to convert Nathan Aké’s cross and register his first international goal.

Star of the Match: Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)

“He brought lots of energy to the game, was involved in creating chances and scored the winning goal.”
Frans Hoek, UEFA Technical Observer

Derek Brookman, Netherlands reporter

This was a real Jekyll-and-Hyde performance. The Dutch were relentless in harrying Ukraine when they had possession and moved the ball smartly when they got it back. They seemed to be in complete control until Ukraine found a way back into the game, but should take heart from the fact that even then they found a way to take maximum points.

Bogdan Buga, Ukraine reporter

Ukraine came close to a dramatic point despite rarely managing to implement the possession-based game they prefer. The hosts were just quicker with and without the ball. The visitors’ lack of high-profile experience told in the end; this young side now need to learn from this before their next outing. Their fleeting fightback should give them belief.


Denzel Dumfries, Netherlands match winner: “The reason I scored the goal is because we kept believing. I knew there would be more opportunities and you have to be ready when the moment comes.”

Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine coach: “It was a very quick and interesting game with loads of opportunities for both teams. I would like to thank my team for the reaction they showed, especially after going 2-0 down – we could have lost the game at that point.”

Frank de Boer, Netherlands coach: “We knew Ukraine were a good team. When they encounter pressure from us, they are able to play against it and find new opportunities. You have to try not to give away dangerous moments to the opponents.”

Key stats
  • This was the Netherlands’ first EURO final tournament win since UEFA EURO 2008.
  • This was the highest-scoring EURO game to have been goalless at half-time.
  • Before this match, Shevchenko was the only player to have scored a EURO final tournament goal for Ukraine.
  • The Dutch have won all but one of the 19 games in which Wijnaldum has scored.
  • This was the tenth time the Oranje have scored three or more in a EURO match.

Netherlands: Stekelenburg; Dumfries, Timber (Veltman 88), De Vrij, Blind (Aké 64), Van Aanholt (Wijndal 64); F de Jong, De Roon, Wijnaldum; Depay (Malen 90+1), Weghorst (De Jong 88)

Ukraine: Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Zinchenko, Malinovskyi; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Zubkov (Marlos 13, Shaparenko 64)

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