Like Italy, The Netherlands’ failure to reach Russia 2018 meant an account was opened with their fans and that account can only be paid in full with a good tournament which ultimately finishes with a Dutch trophy lift. They were off to a good start in achieving that with a win over Ukraine but they worked really hard to get it. Great first half from the Dutch but they lacked the end productUkraine were very much competitive in that second half and refused to be beaten even when down 2-0 with 15 minutes to go. Netherlands started with a ultra defensive 5-3-2 with Frank De Boer not wanting to take chances which could show his lack of confidence in his attack.
Weghorst repaid the faith bestowed on him with the second goal following an opener from Wijnaldum five minutes after the break. The Dutch captain profiting from a rudimentary error by the Ukrainian keeper Bushchan who parried the ball right into the path of the Liverpool midfielder. See the similarities to the two goals? The great wing play from Dumfries playing a crucial role. How about that strike from Hammer Yarmolenko. Stekelenburg showing his match rust on that one. What on earth was he doing way off his line there? That seemed to disorient the Dutch defense who four minutes later conceded another from a needlessly conceded free kick. But there was no denying, this one was the Dumfries show and the Dutch winger provided the winner five minutes from time. Ake with the assist.