EURO 2024: Netherlands Secure Quarter-Final Spot With Thumping 3-0 Victory Over Romania

Netherlands Are In EURO 2024 Quarter Finals
Netherlands Are In EURO 2024 Quarter Finals

Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands had a point to prove in their EURO 2024 Round-of-16 clash against high-flying Romania. They had to show their poor group-stage showing was merely a blip. They had to prove they were still one of the contenders for the coveted continental trophy.

Romania, determined to extend their historic EURO 2024 run, put early pressure on the Dutch. But instead of cracking under it, they used it to mould themselves and emerge as a lethal attacking machine. Buoyed by the genius of Cody Gakpo and Donyell Malen, Koeman’s boys bagged a thumping 3-0 victory at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday (July 2), securing their place in the quarter-finals.

Cody Gakpo & Donyell Malen Fire Netherlands Into EURO 2024 Quarters

Romania enjoyed a blistering start in Munich, wasting no time taking the fight to the opposition. In the 14th minute, Dennis Man came agonizingly close to scoring the opener, as his left-footed drive from outside the box narrowly missed the top-left corner.

Following Man’s rude wake-up call, the Netherlands finally started asserting some control, and it paid dividends just five minutes later, Liverpool ace Gakpo found the back of the net in style. The attacker took control of the ball on the left flank, cut in, and dispatched a thumping strike. Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita was guarding the near post, but he still could not keep it out. Romania tried to hit back immediately, but the Dutch backline tightened to deny them any clear-cut opening.

Holland had complete control of the game in the second half, with them mounting one chance after another in search of the insurance goal. Once again, Gakpo proved integral, as he weaved past Radu Dragusin down the left touch-line before rolling it in for Malen. The substitute, who came on at half-time, applied a cool finish to make it 2-0 for the Dutch.

Malen doubled his money through a blistering counter-attack in injury time. With Romania putting all their players in the Dutch box for an injury-time corner, they left themselves vulnerable to a counter. And when the set piece broke down and the ball fell to Malen, the winger had a free pass to run at the goalkeeper and make it 3-0 for the Oranje.

Ronald Koeman Hails ‘Outstanding’ Dutch Display Against Romania

After the Netherlands lost 3-2 to Austria and qualified for the Round of 16 as a third-placed team, many questioned Koeman’s pedigree and tactical acuity. Following the victory over Romania, Koeman said he did not know why his team failed against Austria and succeeded against Romania, but vouched they would continue to uphold the Dutch attacking heritage.

Speaking to the press after the game, Koeman said (via Outlook India):

It is sometimes difficult to say why you play badly in one game and then can reach a high level the next match. We were sharp from the beginning today, and that made a difference. Maybe, one critical point is that it took too long to score the second goal.

The result is always the most important thing, but we are Dutch, and in the Netherlands, we have to play well and offensively. We know that. The whole performance today was outstanding, and that is what we need to do to continue in this tournament. This is the level. If we go down from this, we won’t reach the final.”

The Netherlands will meet Turkiye in the EURO 2024 quarter-finals on July 6. Winning that game will pit them against the winners of the quarter-final clash between England and Switzerland.

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