14.06.2021, 07:47

Late Dumfries header secures Dutch win after Ukraine fightback

Late Dumfries header secures Dutch win after Ukraine fightback

Denzel Dumfries celebrates scoring the dramatic winner in the Netherlands' 3-2 victory over Ukraine at the Euro 2021. (Photo: Getty)   

Flying full back Denzel Dumfries scored a late winner to earn the Netherlands a 3-2 victory over Ukraine in a thrilling Group C opener at the European Championship on Sunday after the Dutch had thrown away a two-goal lead.

Dumfries rescued all three points for the home team five minutes from time after Ukraine had fought their way back into the match at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

The Dutch were 2-0 up with 15 minutes left, only to allow their opponents two quick goals and the chance to share the points before Dumfries headed home a dramatic winner to the delight of the home fans.

Captain Georginio Wijnaldum and striker Wout Weghorst netted within seven minutes early in the second half as the Dutch sought a successful return to a major tournament -- after a seven-year absence -- in front of 16,000 spectators.

Wijnaldum’s left-foot finish in the 52nd minute opened the scoring before Weghorst quickly added a second.

That put the Dutch in command but Ukraine ensured a nervy finish when captain Andriy Yarmolenko pulled one back in the 75th minute with a superb strike and Roman Yaremchuk equalised four minutes later.

Wijnaldum scored for a fifth time in his last eight appearances for his country as he snapped up a clearance from Ukraine goalkeeper Georgiy Buschcan, who was attempting to push a square pass away from the dangerous Memphis Depay.

It was set up after another strong run down the flank from the Dutch, whose right wing back Dumfries was particularly dangerous and deserved his big moment at the end.

Gregoritsch, Arnautovic strike late to end Austria’s long wait

Late goals from substitutes Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic gave Austria a convincing 3-1 victory over European Championship debutants North Macedonia in their opening Group C clash on Sunday as they earned their first tournament victory in 31 years.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group D - England v Croatia - Wembley Stadium, London, UK- June 13, 2021 England players celebrate after the match. (Photo: VNA)

Sterling, something of a surprise starter after a flat end to the domestic season but a favourite of manager Gareth Southgate, slid home after great work by Kalvin Phillips to end an individual drought that had run through England’s three previous major tournaments.

“It feels good. I grew up two minutes down the road, so I knew I had to score here, and it was a great feeling to do it,” said the Wembley-raised forward.


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