Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Romania 0-3 Netherlands: What Were The Key Talking Points As Holland Breeze Their Way To A Quarter-Final Ticket?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, European Championships 3 Jul 2024

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Avoiding what could have been a potential EURO 24 banana skin on Tuesday evening, the Netherlands booked their quarter-final ticket as they secured a 3-0 victory against Romania in Munich.

Although Romania might have come flying out of the traps here, Liverpool star Cody Gakpo opened the scoring midway through the first-half as the 25-year-old produced a thunderous strike.

Dominating large spells after opening the scoring in Munich, Ronald Koeman’s men created a string of chances on either side of the half-time break as they made quite the statement.

While Gakpo might have notched a third EURO 24 strike here, it was second-half substitute Donyell Malen who came on and finished the job for Holland.

Tapping home from close range following Gakpo’s sublime assist late on, the Borussia Dortmund ace quickly bagged a second of the evening as he powered home in stoppage time.

Cruising their way to a knockout stage ticket, the Netherlands will now turn their attention to a final eight showdown against Turkey on Saturday night.

As for Romania, while the Tricolours might have eventually missed out on the chance to claim what would have been an iconic European scalp here, they should take plenty of positives away from a summer to remember over in Germany.

On an evening when Holland made a real statement in Munich, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

The Dutch avoid a potential banana skin

Signing off their Group D campaign with a nightmare performance as they fell to a 3-2 loss at the hands of Austria, it is no secret that the Netherlands opened up Tuesday’s Round of 16 battle with plenty of pressure on their shoulders in Munich.

Eventually forced to settle for a third-place finish in Group D and really limping their way to the knockout stage, Koeman had plenty of questions that needed answering.

However, although the Netherlands might have struggled to find much fluidity since opening their EURO 24 adventure last month, the former Barcelona boss will take plenty of positives away from a dominant performance on Tuesday evening.

Laying down a marker in Munich and breezing past a Romania squad that have continued to break a string of records this summer, Holland had made it abundantly clear that they have their sights set on mounting a late charge this summer.

Booking a first European Championship quarter-final ticket since way back in 2008, Koeman’s camp will travel to Berlin this weekend when they meet Turkey for a spot in the final four.

Who can stop Gakpo this summer?

Although the likes of PSG starlet Xavi Simons might have stolen plenty of Holland’s headlines heading into this summer’s European Championships, it has been Gakpo who has continued to spearhead Koeman’s charge.

Making 35 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last season as the English giants booked a lucrative Champions League return, Gakpo has been at the heart of everything positive that the Netherlands have produced this summer.

Opening the scoring here thanks to a thunderous strike midway through the first-half, the 25-year-old has now notched three goals in just his four EURO 24 appearances so far this summer.

In fact, with three strikes to his name, Gakpo remarkably sits in pole position to claim this summer’s Golden Boot over in Germany.

Receiving a string of plaudits from Koeman following the full-time whistle here, there is no doubts that Liverpool’s attacking ace will have another leading role to play when the European giants meet Turkey this weekend.

Romania should hold their heads high

Although Romania might have eventually fallen short in their bid to pick up a monumental EURO 24 scalp on Tuesday evening, the Tricolours should take a string of positives away from this summer’s European Championships.

While Edward Iordanescu’s men might have opened this summer’s tournament tipped as a real outside contender in the race to book a famous knockout stage ticket, the former FCSB boss has seen his squad gain a string of plaudits.

Getting their European adventure underway on June 17th with a stunning 3-0 romp against Ukraine in Munich, Romania remarkably topped Group D ahead of heavyweights Belgium.

Although Romania might have failed to collect a single victory from any of their four pre-tournament appearances, they certainly gained a real reputation for there rugged approach over in Germany.

While the Tricolours might have failed to overcome what was always going to be a huge challenge on Tuesday evening, they have cemented their spot as one of this summer’s real underdog stories.

Match Report

Romania: Nita, Ratiu, Dragusin, Burca, Mogos, M. Marin, Man, R. Marin, Stanciu, Hagi, Dragus

Subs: Alibec, Cicaldau, Mihaila, Olaru, Racovitan

Netherlands: Verbruggen, Dumfries, de Vrij, van Dijk, Ake, Reijnders, Schouten, Bergwijn, Simons, Gakpo, Depay

Subs: Malen, Blind, Veerman, van de Ven, Weghorst

Goals: Gakpo (20’), Malen (83’, 90+3’)

Yellow Cards: Romania: M. Marin, Stanciu – Netherlands: Dumfries, Malen

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Felix Zwayer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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