Netherlands Cruise Past Romania to Reach Euro 2024 Quarterfinals

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The Netherlands delivered a dominant performance to secure a 3-0 victory against Romania, booking their place in the quarterfinals of Euro 2024. Ronald Koeman’s men, spurred by an outstanding Cody Gakpo and an efficient Donyell Malen, overturned the doubts that lingered after their lackluster display against Austria. The match began with Romania applying early pressure, pushing the Dutch defense into their own half. Despite the initial siege, the Netherlands held firm, gradually gaining control of the game.

The breakthrough came in the 19th minute when Cody Gakpo cut inside from the left, evading Ratiu before unleashing a precise shot into the near post, leaving Nita helpless. Buoyed by the opener, the Dutch dominated the rest of the half. Denzel Dumfries, a constant threat down the right flank, created several chances but the Romanian defense managed to hold on. A setback for Romania came when Mogos had to leave the field due to a head injury, compounding their troubles.

The second half saw the Netherlands maintain their momentum. In the 54th minute, a Dumfries run resulted in a scrambled attempt by Malen, with Memphis Depay eventually seizing on the rebound. Although the goal was disallowed, it was a clear sign of the Dutch intent. Shortly after, Virgil van Dijk’s header from a corner struck the post, further underlining their dominance.

The relentless Dutch pressure finally paid off in the 83rd minute. Gakpo, showcasing his tenacity, recovered the ball at the byline and delivered a perfect assist to Malen, who tapped in from close range. Malen sealed the victory with his second goal, a brilliant solo effort that made it 3-0. This comprehensive victory marks a significant turnaround for the Netherlands, who now look formidable as they advance to the quarterfinals, erasing memories of their previous group-stage stumble against Austria.