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Euro 2024 – Romania 0-3 Netherlands: Cody Gakpo, Donyell Malen send Ronald Koeman's Oranje into quarter-finals – Sky Sports

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Romania vs Netherlands. European Championships Round of 16.

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Report from Euro 2024 as a goal from Cody Gakpo and two from Donyell Malen send Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands into quarter-finals of tournament; the Dutch will face Turkey in Berlin on Saturday
Digital football journalist
Tuesday 2 July 2024 22:31, UK
Netherlands booked their place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals, despite missing a hatful of chances, with a 3-0 win over Romania in Munich.
Ronald Koeman’s side had 23 attempts on the night, but it was a fine Cody Gakpo strike in the first half and a late double from half-time substitute Donyell Malen that sealed their place in the last eight.
Romania had approached their first knockout game since Euro 2000 with no fear. Their energy and positivity meant the Dutch had been forced to drop deep by the 10-minute mark. It was only a fleeting period of nervousness, though.
Gakpo has been the Dutch talisman of late and he added his third goal of the tournament when he took a touch inside Andrei Ratiu and hit a crisp strike that beat goalkeeper Florin Nita at his near post.
As a result, he became just the third player to score three or more goals at two different major tournaments for the Netherlands, along with Johnny Rep and Dennis Bergkamp.
Stefan de Vrij then headed inexplicably wide from close range, before Radu Dragusin’s well-timed slide took Denzel Dumfries’ square ball away from the feet of Memphis Depay and Xavi Simons dallied when in a prime position to shoot.
It should have been 2-0 or 3-0 at the break – and the wastefulness continued after it. Romania survived an almighty scramble shortly after the restart, before Virgil van Dijk’s header glanced the post and Gakpo was denied a second by VAR after straying offside when he poked in Malen’s knock-on.
How the teams lined up
Match stats
Euro 2024 fixtures
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Depay then struck a free-kick inches past the left-hand post, before Joey Veerman slid a shot agonisingly across the face of goal – but they finally got the decisive second when Gakpo kept the ball alive on the byline and squared for Malen, who could not miss.
The impressive Malen added the gloss with the final action of the match, latching onto Simons’ neat ball, chopping inside Razvan Marin and finding the bottom corner.
Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman: “It is sometimes difficult to say why you play bad in one game and then can reach a high level the next match.
“We were sharp from the beginning today and that made the difference. Maybe one critical point is that it took too long to score the second goal.
“We have great talent in this team but of course you need to win something, then people can start to compare with [winning the Euros in] 1988.
“But it is more difficult now, football has changed, it is more physical, you need to be fast and technically good.
“England, Portugal, everybody has their own problems to continue in this tournament.”
Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk: “Very proud, sure, and pleased as well. We were defensively sound and solid and did not give up much. We could have scored a lot more.
“After a turbulent week, where a lot was said, we had to show something and we did that. We are self-critical and we knew it had to be a lot better after the last game and everyone had to take responsibility and today they showed they wanted to.
“Everyone went for the duels, won the second ball and made the chances. Playing good football gives us self-confidence.”
Romania forward Denis Dragus: “Unfortunately we stop here, but I think we gave it all and we are glad that we managed to make people happy. We are sorry that we couldn’t do more. The details make the difference at this level. After the first goal, things changed.”
© 2024 Sky UK

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