…late Austrian strikes sink North Macedonia
Denzel Dumfries headed a dramatic late winner to earn the Netherlands victory after Ukraine had come back from 2-0 down in a Group C thriller in Amsterdam.
Oranje boss 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.
It looked like going to plan for De Boer when Georginio Wijnaldum, who scored eight times in qualifying, pounced from inside the box before Wout Weghorst’s instinctive finish doubled the lead, reports the BBC.
But Ukraine pulled one back through Andriy Yarmolenko’s outstanding 25-yard dipping finish and, four minutes later, Roman Yaremchuk header the equaliser to silence the Dutch fans.
However, Dumfries’ 85th minute header earned the Netherlands victory on their return to the major tournament stage after a seven-year absence.
And Substitutes Marko Arnautovic and Michael Gregoritsch earned Austria their first ever victory at a European Championship as Franco Foda’s side edged past tournament debutants North Macedonia in their Group C opener.
Gregoritsch met captain David Alaba’s sublime cross with 12 minutes remaining to end North Macedonia’s resistance, before Arnautovic put the result beyond doubt after rounding goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.
Veteran Macedonian striker Goran Pandev looked to have earned a memorable point for Euro 2020’s lowest-ranked side on his 120th appearance, 20 years on from his international debut.
The 37-year-old Genoa forward, part of Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter Milan side of 2009-10, pounced on a defensive mix-up and slotted in to an open goal after 28 minutes to cancel out out Stefan Lainer’s strike.
Borussia Monchengladbach right-back Lainer had produced a fine finish to give an uninspiring Austria the lead 10 minutes earlier, leaping to volley in Marcel Sabitzer’s excellent pass.
Austria 3 – 1 North Macedonia
Holland 3 – 2 Ukraine