Euro 2024

Netherlands secure Euro 2024 quarter-final spot with convincing win over Romania

The Netherlands advanced to the Euro 2024 quarter-finals with a dominant 3-0 victory over Romania in Munich, despite missing numerous scoring opportunities.

Ronald Koeman’s side had an impressive 23 attempts on goal, but it was Cody Gakpo’s first-half strike and a late double from substitute Donyell Malen that sealed their progress.

Romania, playing in their first knockout game since Euro 2000, started with energy and positivity, forcing the Dutch to drop deep early on. However, the Netherlands quickly regained control. Gakpo, who has been in excellent form, opened the scoring with a fine goal after cutting inside Andrei Ratiu and beating goalkeeper Florin Nita at the near post.

This goal marked Gakpo’s third of the tournament, making him only the third Dutch player to score three or more goals in two different major tournaments, joining Johnny Rep and Dennis Bergkamp.

Despite their dominance, the Netherlands struggled to convert their chances. Stefan de Vrij missed a close-range header, and Radu Dragusin made a crucial interception to deny Denzel Dumfries. Memphis Depay and Xavi Simons also squandered opportunities to extend the lead before halftime.

The second half saw continued wastefulness from the Dutch. Virgil van Dijk’s header hit the post, and Gakpo had a goal disallowed for offside after a VAR review. Depay narrowly missed with a free-kick, and Joey Veerman’s shot went just wide. However, the Netherlands finally doubled their lead when Gakpo kept the ball in play on the byline and squared it for Malen, who tapped in.

Malen completed the scoring in the final moments, receiving a pass from Simons, cutting inside Razvan Marin, and finding the bottom corner. This emphatic finish ensured the Netherlands’ place in the last eight of the tournament.

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