Finally, after seven years of absence, Oranje made a come back to an international tournament playing against Ukraine in the Johan Cruijff Arena.
The Dutch lads didn’t disappoint and Ukraine was pushed aside in an eventful match. It didn’t come easy though, as Denzel “the bull” Dumfries had to head a goal in five minutes before the end.
Oranje started strong with a 2-0 lead
The Orange squad was looking for the attack in the first half. The defenders Denzel Dumfries and Patrick van Aanholt, who were surprisingly favoured over AZ player Owen Wijndal, were all over the pitch. Dumfries missed two great goals in the first half. After the flashy opening of the match, with no fewer than ten Dutch attempts, there were still no goals. That all changed after the second half as Georgiano Wijnaldum was extremely precise at rebound shooting, giving the Dutch their first goal.
That wasn’t the end of the Orangethirst for goals. After Dumfries continued to “bull” around, it was Wout Weghorst who poached the 2-0 like the born striker he is, his second goal in the past two international matches.
Classic choke: Oranje gives away lead
Keeper Maarten Stekelenburg had little to do in the second half until 15 minutes before time. Andrij Jarmolenko dribbled from the right and beautifully scored a screamer. Ukraine regained some hope and four minutes later, levelling out the playing field for Oranje. From a free-kick by Ruslan Malinovsky, Roman Yaremchuk headed the ball and made it 2-2. Despair fell onto the Dutch in this classic twist of football.
However, for Denzel Dumfries, it was not over. The defender headed in the winning goal on Ake’s cross in the 85th minute causing those loud cheers you could hear from every Dutch homes the only way a late goal can.
It was his first international goal and the cherry on top of a great match from a “bulling” Dumfries. Now the Dutch team moves on to the next match, which is on Thursday against Austria at 9 PM.
Eriksen’s cardiac arrest
After the collapse of Danish ace Christian Eriksen on Saturday, Daley Blind seriously considered not participating in the first Dutch match at the European championship. The defender left the field with tears in his eyes when he was substituted during the game against Ukraine (3-2). He has a history of heart problems and used to play on the same team as Eriksen.
He also coined the phrase “Denzel was nicely bulling on the right-side” in a post-match interview. He made up key Dutch football lingo right there and then.
How did you celebrate the Dutch win? Let us know in the comments!
Feature Image: katatonia82/Depositphotos