Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko Comments on Loss to Netherlands

The Netherlands and Ukraine played out arguably the most exciting game at Euro 2020 so far, with the Oranje running out 3-2 victors in a five-goal thriller. In the post-match interview, Andriy Yarmolenko shared his opinion about his team’s inability to hold onto a hard-fought stalemate.

Both sides created a couple of decent scoring opportunities in the first half but failed to capitalize on any of them. The Netherlands dictated the pace of the game for a large portion of the first 45 minutes, although the Ukrainians showed they know how to hurt their opposition on counter-attacks.

Ukraine’s first-choice goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan had a fantastic first half, preventing the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay, and Wout Weghorst from giving Holland an early lead. However, the 27-year-old went from hero to zero after the restart.

Bushchan’s poor clearance set up Wijnaldum for the Netherlands opener in the 52nd minute. Weghorst doubled his team’s lead three minutes before the hour mark following a controversial situation in Ukraine’s 18-yard box.

Despite massive appeals from the Ukrainian players over a potential foul from Denzel Dumfries in the build-up to the Netherlands’ second goal, German referee Felix Brych refused to change his call.

Although it seemed like Frank de Boer’s players are cruising towards a comfortable triumph, Andriy Shevchenko’s men managed to fight their way back into the game with two quick goals.

West Ham United ace Yarmolenko scored the goal of the tournament so far, smashing the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg from a long-range distance in the 75th minute. Only three minutes later, Genk’s Roman Yaremchuk escaped his marker to meet a pinpoint cross from Ruslan Malinovskyi of Atalanta to put things back to square one.

Ukraine’s decision to drop deep and let the Netherlands enjoy the ball possession and build their play in the front third came back to haunt the ex-Soviet Union members. Second-half substitute Nathan Ake whipped the ball into the box, with PSV’s Dumfries heading home the winner for his side.

Yarmolenko offered his view of the game as Ukraine now face an uphill task of reaching the Euro 2020 knock-out stages.

Today was a difficult match. We understood who we were playing against. We had a serious, strong opponent. All the guys showed up, the coaching staff is satisfied with the dedication. It is a pity to lose such matches in the end,” the 31-year-old said, as quoted by his national team’s official website.

We thought about how to score a goal in return and then equalize and turn the game around. We succeeded, scored the first goal, then the second. 

Of course, to some extent, we lacked experience because we have a fairly young team. A more experienced team in such a situation would be better off acting on the account. Well, we learn from mistakes. This will be a good lesson for us for the future.