Netherlands trounce poor Romania and march through to quarter finals

The Netherlands reached the UEFA EURO quarter-finals for the first time since 2008 after a comfortable victory over Romania in Munich.

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 who struck first, however, Cody Gakpo cutting in from the left and arrowing a fierce right-footed shot inside the near post for his third goal of the tournament.

Gakpo’s effort appeared to settle Orange 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. A second Dutch goal before the interval would not have been a surprise, 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 Racoviţan and Andrei Rațiu 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 Niță’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 Türkiye in the last eight.

Romania: Niță; Rațiu, Drăgușin, Burcă, Mogoș (Racoviţan 38); M Marin (Cicâldâu 72); Man, Stanciu (Olaru 88), R Marin, Hagi (Alibec 72); Drăguș (Mihâilâ 72)

Netherlands: Verbruggen; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Aké (Van de Ven 69); Schouten (Veerman 69), Simons, Reijnders; Bergwijn (Malen 46), Depay (Blind 90’+2), Gakpo (Weghorst 84)

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