European Under-21 Championship review

Dutch stun Germany in 5-goal thriller

June 7, 2013
By ESPN staff

Netherlands have survived a two-goal German comeback to win a 3-2 thriller in their opening game of the European under-21 Championship.

Leroy Fer celebrates after scoring Netherlands' dramatic winner against Germany
GettyImagesLeroy Fer celebrates after scoring Netherlands' dramatic winner against Germany

• Atkins: U-21 Scout's Notebook

The Netherland looked to be cruising at half-time as goals to Adam Maher and Georginio Wijnaldum gave the Dutch a commanding 2-0 lead.

But the Germans refused to fall to a first game defeat and roared back to life through Sebastian Rudy and Lewis Holtby.

But Netherlands stole the victory with a late winner to substitute Leroy Fer.

Meanwhile, defending champions Spain have started their title defence with a late 1-0 victory over Russia.

The Spaniards were frustrated most of the game by a combination of their own wayward attack and stubborn Russian defiance until substitute Alvaro Morata came to the rescue in the 82nd minute.

The Netherland lead Spain on goal difference at the top of Group B, with Germany in third and Russia propping up the pack in last position.