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.
But Ukraine pulled one back through Andriy Yarmolenko’s outstanding 25-yard dipping finish and, four minutes later, Roman Yaremchuk headed the equaliser to silence the Dutch fans.
However, Dumfries’ excellent 85th minute header, after substitute Nathan Ake’s cross, earned the Netherlands victory on their return to the major tournament stage after a seven-year absence.