Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Romania 0 Netherlands 3: Advocaat signs off in style

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Nov 2017

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Dick Advocaat enjoyed a successful farewell as Netherlands coach as a trio of second half goals secured a routine 3-0 victory in Romania on Tuesday.

Following the disappointment of falling short in World Cup qualification, Advocaat was given the chance to conclude his third stint in charge on a more positive note.

And the ‘Little General’ got his wish as last week’s 1-0 win in Scotland was followed by a polished performance in Bucharest.

The Oranje are searching for an attacking talisman to help replace the retired Arjen Robben and Memphis Dempay continued to press his case, opening the scoring in the 47th minute with his fifth goal in his last eight Netherlands appearances.

Ryan Babel is also back in the fold as a potential short-term solution and the Besiktas man soon doubled the advantage with his first international goal since May 2008.

Substitute Luuk de Jong rounded off the rout with just under 10 minutes remaining as the visitors ensured Advocaat’s successor will take charge of a team on a positive run having claimed five successive wins.

Advocaat played his part in ushering in a new era by handing a third international cap to teenager Matthijs de Ligt.

The defender had little to do over the opening exchanges as Netherlands’ encouraging start led to openings for Nathan Ake and Davy Propper.

Babel was gifted the best of the early chances when Vlad Chiriches coughed up possession on the edge of the area, but the former Liverpool forward could only force a routine near-post save from Costel Pantilimon.

Despite the backing of a vocal home crowd, Romania’s best move of the half came to nothing as George Tucudean was adjudged to have fouled Jasper Cillessen amid a goalmouth scramble.

Babel did have the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time, but an offside flag meant scores remained level at the interval.

The deadlock was broken with two minutes of the restart, though, as Steven Berghuis escaped down the right and saw his deflected cross loop perfectly for Memphis to nod in at the far post.

And it was Berghuis who created the second less than 10 minutes later, crossing well for Babel to volley in at close-range.

At the other end, Gheorghe Grozav wasted a chance to reduce the deficit by side-footing straight at Cillessen.

But any hopes of a Romania fightack were scuppered in the 81st minute as PSV striker De Jong came off the bench to head in his fourth international goal from Berghuis’ free-kick, completing a hat-trick of assists for the Feyenoord man.

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