AMSTERDAM: The Euro finals sprang into swashbuckling life – with the help of flaky defences – as Netherlands defeated Ukraine 3-2 in the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Group C.
PSV Eindhoven wingback Denzel Dumfries headed a dramatic late winner after Ukraine had hit back from 2-0 down.
Netherlands coach Frank de Boer is hoping to use Euro 2020 to prove to fans he is the right man to lead the team into a successful new era after an unconvincing start in the role.
The Dutch should have been in command at halftime but Dumfries twice and Frenkie de Jong let Ukraine off the hook.
Seven minutes into the second half, however, captain Georginio Wijnaldum, who scored eight times in qualifying, pounced from inside the box after Ukraine goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan had pushed a cross out in front of goal.
Wout Weghorst struck a second in the 58th minute from close range but Ukraine pulled back impressively.
First Andriy Yarmolenko scored the goal of the finals so far with a curling angled drive in the 75th minute before, four minutes later, Roman Yaremchuk headed an equaliser.
Ukraine’s delight was short-lived as Nathan Ake’s cross was headed home for a winning goal by Dumfries in the 85th minute.