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De Jong, Depay, Netherlands win thrilling Euro 2020 opener against Ukraine

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A strong contender for Game of the Tournament

Netherlands v Georgia - International Friendly Photo by NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The first weekend of the European Championships is over, and we might have just witnessed the Game of the Tournament as the Netherlands beat Ukraine 3-2 in a sensational football match.

All five goals came in the second half, but the entire match was action-packed from the start. The Dutch took the initiative and had most of the possession in the first half, but Ukraine was not afraid to counter attack in numbers every time they got the ball back, and there were plenty of good chances from both sides in the opening period.

Somehow, someway, the first half ended goalless, but it didn’t take long for Georginio Wijnaldum and then Waut Weghorst to put the hosts up by two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second. The Netherlands looked strong and ready to kill off the game, but a brilliant strike out of nowhere by Andriy Yarmolenko kept Ukraine in the game.

Then Roman Yaremchuk headed home from a free-kick to equalize with just 10 minutes to go, and it seemed as though the Dutch would not win all three points despite a brilliant attacking display. But there was still time left, and after an amazing cross by Nathan Aké it was Denzel Dumfries who emerged as the hero and scored the winner in the 85th minute.

Frenkie De Jong was excellent and midfield providing a solid base alongside Marten De Roon and moving all over the final third when his team had the ball, and despite not scoring on the night Memphis Depay was active and dangerous in the forward line.

It’s a big win for the Dutch and for manager Frank De Boer, who came into this tournament under a lot of pressure but saw his team play a brilliant attacking game against a solid Ukraine defense. If they can improve defensively, the Dutch might be a problem in Euro 2020.

What. A. Game.