Denzel Dumfries gives Holland victory after Ukraine hit back

Netherlands begin return to big stage looking like they're desperate to make up for lost time

TOPSHOT - Netherlands' defender Denzel Dumfries (R) heads the ball to score the third goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group C football match between the Netherlands and Ukraine at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on June 13, 2021. / AFP / POOL / Olaf Kraak
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Holland made a dramatic return to major tournament football, snatching a late 3-2 victory over Ukraine after squandering a two-goal lead in their Euro 2020 opener.

The Netherlands failed to qualify for the previous European Championships and the 2018 World Cup, and began their return to the big stage looking like they were desperate to make up for lost time.

But having gone 2-0 up with less than an hour to go through Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst they collapsed, conceding twice in four minutes, to Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk.

But they were rescued by PSV Eindhoven defender Denzel Dumfries, who headed in his first international goal at the far post with five minutes remaining, having earlier wasted a great chance to score the game's first goal.

Frank De Boer's side registered seven shots in the opening 15 minutes, with two of their most experienced players, Memphis Depay and Wijnaldum, running the show.

But a combination of ineffective finishing and goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan meant they were frustrated for 52 minutes.

Then Bushchan pushed Dumfries' cross straight out to the former Liverpool midfielder and he calmly passed the ball into the net for his 23rd goal in 76 appearances.

The new Paris Saint-Germain signing was the last player to score for Holland at a major tournament, 2,528 days ago at the 2014 World Cup.

Weghorst, who had been relatively ineffective, fired home his first international competitive goal seven minutes later.

But the celebrations in Amsterdam's Johan Cruyff Arena were cut short when West Ham winger Yarmolenko curled home a brilliant effort and Yaremchuk's powerful header levelled up the Group C encounter.

At that point there was the potential for the hosts to implode but the Dumfries, 25, picked the perfect time to open his Oranje account and make it a memorable return after a seven-year absence.

Such was their dominance that De Boer's side should have cruised to victory.

Lyon's former Manchester United forward Depay set the tone with a one-man counter-attack from 15 metres inside his own half with barely two minutes on the clock, forcing the first of several saves from Bushchan.

With both wing-backs in the 3-5-2 formation pushing on it was no surprise to see the right-sided Dumfries regularly appearing in the final third.

But there was no excuse for him missing a free header from Depay's cross five minutes before the interval.

It was merely a prelude to what turned into an exciting finish in which Ukraine's goalkeeper had played his part, making the save of the match as, wrong-footed, he stuck out a left hand to keep out Wijnaldum's deflected first-half volley.