The Euro`12 hosts dominated play throughout the game, but were unable to send Oranje`s reserves back home with a defeat, according to

Euro`12 hosts Ukraine recorded a 1-1 draw against World Cup finalists Netherlands in Donetsk. The home side used the match to start their build-up toward the 2012 finals, while Holland coach Bert van Marwijk used the match to rest his regular squad members and to have a look at some promising youngsters.

The first goal of the match was scored by PSV star Jeremain Lens after 72 minutes of play. Twente midfielder Theo Janssen hit the crossbar with a powerful long range strike and Lens tapped home from close range. Ukraine weren`t impressed too much though and drew things level again only one minute later. Oleksandr Aliyev stepped up to take a free kick and curled the ball over the wall to find the top corner.

The Ukrainians looked the better side of the two throughout the match and they came close to scoring in the first half via Andrey Shevchenko. The former Milan star outsmarted Jeffrey Bruma, but his shot only hit the side netting. Oranje were largely unable to trouble Ukraine`s defense and got only one serious chance before the break after a free kick. However, Siem de Jong failed to beat Andrey Pyatov from close range.

The match came to live after the interval and Aliyev tried his luck from long range strikes on two occasions, only to be denied by Michel Vorm twice. The home side also came close via a stunning shot from Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, but Vorm again proved to be a reliable goalie. The Utrecht star once again underlined this at the hour mark, when he denied Olexander Romanchuk after a good individual move.

Netherlands struggled to break through the Ukrainian defense in the second half as well and came close on only two more occasions. Hedwiges Maduro set up Lens on the right and the versatile attacker unleashed a powerful left footed shot that was only narrowly saved by Pyatov. Janssen then almost helped Oranje to an away win, but his free kick well into stoppage time went inches wide.

The final result gives Ukraine a confidence boost in their preparation toward the European Championships that will take place in Ukraine/Poland in two years time. Netherlands, meanwhile, won`t be too bothered by today`s result and will start their qualifying campaign for Euro`12 with an away match against San Marino on 3 September.

By Stefan Coerts,