Euro 2024: Dominant Netherlands outplay Romania 3-0; through to quarterfinals

Munich, July 3 (IANS) Two late goals from substitute Donyell Malen helped the Netherlands reach the UEFA Euro 2024 quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years, after a comfortable and dominant 3-0 victory over Romania in a Round of 16 match here on Tuesday. The Netherlands reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2008 despite Romania making a brisk start and putting the former European champions under pressure.
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Euro 2024: Dominant Netherlands outplay Romania 3-0; through to quarterfinals

Munich, July 3 (IANS) Two late goals from substitute Donyell Malen helped the Netherlands reach the UEFA Euro 2024 quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years, after a comfortable and dominant 3-0 victory over Romania in a Round of 16 match here on Tuesday. The Netherlands reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2008 despite Romania making a brisk start and putting the former European champions under pressure.

Just as they did in their opening victory over Ukraine in Munich, Romania started brightly and almost took an early lead when Dennis Man curled over from the edge of the penalty area. It was Ronald Koeman's side that struck first, however, Cody Gakpo cut in from the left and arrowed a fierce right-footed shot inside the near post for his third goal of the tournament.

Gakpo's effort appeared to settle the Dutch nerves. They gradually gained the upper hand as the half progressed, with Steven Bergwijn – making his first start in Germany – providing an excellent outlet down the Netherlands' right flank.

The Dutch could have scored a second goal before the interval, but Xavi Simons was unable to steer his shot on target after Denzel Dumfries had dispossessed Bogdan Racoviţan near the byline.

Only some last-ditch defending by Racovitan and Andrei Ratiu prevented Memphis Depay from doubling the Netherlands' advantage nine minutes into the second half. Virgil van Dijk was denied by the woodwork soon after, sending a towering header off the outside of Florin Nita's left-hand post, before the Romania goalkeeper produced a sprawling save to tip another Gakpo drive wide.

Depay's free-kick rolled narrowly off target and Joey Veerman side-footed past the far post, but Koeman's team finally got the goal their second-half dominance merited when Gakpo teed up substitute Donyell Malen to prod home from close range.

Malen then doubled his personal tally in stoppage time with a low finish to complete the scoring for the Dutch, who will face either Austria or Turkey in the last eight.

--IANS

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