The Netherlands can be proud of their victory over Ukraine but need to learn from defensive mistakes, coach Frank de Boer said after his side’s thrilling 3-2 win in their Euro 2020 opener on Sunday.
The Dutch moved smoothly into a 2-0 lead before conceding two goals in quick succession, only to snatch the three points thanks to an 85th-minute header by defender Denzel Dumfries.
“We can be proud of our performance,” De Boer told reporters. “We saw a good Dutch squad, which was compact, which dominated and created chances. Which is what we want to see. But those two goals we don’t want to see anymore, that was too easy.”
The Netherlands dominated the match and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory until Ukraine struck twice, but the hosts kept their nerve to secure their first victory at a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup.
“We need to get smarter in these situations,” De Boer said of lapses of concentration which led to the two Ukraine goals.
“You know the other team will get chances, but you need to make sure it doesn’t happen through your mistakes.”
Dumfries, named man of the match, said it had been the most thrilling game of his career.
“So much relief, such an important goal,” he said. “It wasn’t my best match ever, but it was the most beautiful.”
De Boer said he was confident his team would improve heading into the next Group C match against Austria on Thursday.
“This stuff is bad for my health as well. So let’s assume we won’t let it happen again,” he said.
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