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They are not the clockwork orange of old, and they were pegged back like the washing on your line.

But for 75 minutes, Georginio Wijnaldum was Holland's darling clementine in Amsterdam and Denzel Dumfries was the last action hero.

As the Dutch – who had lost 10 of their previous 20 games at the Johan Cruyff Arena – made an unconvincing start to their Euros campaign, it was skipper Wijnaldum who got the party started.

After missing a glut of chances, two goals in six minutes gave the Netherlands lift-off, and the former Liverpool midfielder – who completed a £10 million-a-year free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain last week – celebrated his affluence in style.

Wijnaldum's cool finish and Wout Weghorst's second goal in as many internationals should have broken Ukraine's dogged resistance.

The Netherlands edged a thriller against Ukraine
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

But on this evidence, Holland coach Frank de Boer faces more fly-past inquistions.

Did we not like orange?

Once upon a time, when Jan Wouters' careless elbow broke Gazza's cheek at Wembley and Graham Taylor was shafted by a cowardly referee in Rotterdam, advocates of all things orange were in short supply among England supporters.

But since Cruyff's eponymous turn against Sweden at the World Cup 47 years ago, some of the best tournaments have been illuminated by Dutch courage.

Jan Olsson, the Swedish defender Cruyff left for dead, has only just returned from collecting his coat.

And Marco van Basten's outrageous volley against the USSR in the Euro 1988 final is still responsible for the most stray missiles disappearing over the garden fence, as schoolboy imitations fly miles off-target, than any goal in living memory.

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Van Basten's sensational hit decorated Holland's only triumph at a major tournament, but they have endured 33 years of hurt since then – and expectations of Frank De Boer's side are limited.

De Boer's preference for a 3-5-2 shape, instead of the traditional formation of their Total Football heyday, prompted fans to hire a stunt plane over their final training session trailing a banner which read 'Just 4-3-3, Frank'.

There was little sign of Holland playing with the handbrake on, or lacking in attacking intent, as Dumfries and Kop fugitive Wijnaldum – captain in the absence of long-term invalid Virgil van Dijk – both went close in the opening six minutes.

And Ukraine keeper Georgi Bushchan's goal lived a more charmed life than a snake in a basket as the orange tide threatened to submerge Andriy Shevchenko's underdogs.

Bushchan made a superb, instinctive stop to keep out Wijnaldum's deflected volley seven minutes before the break, but he should not have had a prayer when Dumfries, completely unmarked at the far post, headed wastefully wide.

As the chances came and went, there was a lingering suspicion that Ukraine – who were unbeaten in the qualifying campaign, topping their group above defending champions Portugal – might pick their pocket.

And Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt was fortunate not to concede a penalty from a high-risk challenge on West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko.

But the Netherlands deserved to break through – and it was fitting that Wijnaldum released the tension.

Bushchan could only parry Dumfries' cross, with Memphis Depay lurking at the back post, and the former Liverpool midfielder steered his left-foot finish high into the net from 18 yards.

When Weghorst pounced from eight yards, after Dumfries had run into a dead end in the Ukraine box, De Boer's side looked comfortable.

But Yarmolenko's brilliant, dipping 25-yarder agaisnt the run of play with 15 minutes left changed the mood completely.

And Roman Yaremchuk's header four minutes later unravelled all the Dutch optimism.

But Dumfries made up for his earlier miss with a glancing header from sub Nathan Ake's cross siox minutes from time.