Euro 2024: Netherlands beat Romania to reach quarter-finals

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Cody Gakpo scored and Donyell Malen netted twice off the bench as the Netherlands booked their place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Romania.
Gakpo saw his low drive beat Florin Nita for power 20 minutes in to settle the Oranje’s nerves, and they were in total command from that moment on.
The Liverpool man saw a potential second goal ruled out before Virgil van Dijk struck the woodwork, but some fine work late on saw him tee up substitute Malen to make it 2-0.

Malen then added further gloss on the break in stoppage time, and the Netherlands will approach Saturday’s quarter-final tie against Austria or Turkiye with confidence, with a potential semi-final clash with England still on the cards.
The Netherlands made a tentative start and were fortunate to see Dennis Man’s 20-yard drive float over the crossbar, but the Oranje went ahead in the 20th minute.
Gakpo cut inside Andrei Ratiu before shooting from the left side of the area, and Florin Nita arguably should have done better as the ball squirmed past him at his near post.
The Netherlands grew in confidence from there and bossed the remainder of the first half, going close to a second goal when Denzel Dumfries forced an error from Bogdan Racovitan before teeing up Xavi Simons, but the RB Leipzig man took too long before shooting wide.
The Oranje pressure continued after the restart as Ratiu’s desperate tackle prevented Memphis Depay from blasting into a gaping net, before Van Dijk sent a downward header against the post and wide just before the hour mark.
Depay then called Nita into action with a ferocious 25-yard strike before he was denied his brace by a VAR review, being called offside after he poked home following a scramble in the area.
Joey Veerman went closer still when he rolled his shot across goal and wide after finding space on the left of the box, but Ronald Koeman’s team had daylight with seven minutes remaining.
Gakpo did brilliantly to keep the ball in play under pressure from Radu Dragusin, with Malen turning his low cross home for the clinching goal.
With Romania crestfallen, Malen doubled his tally at the death, streaking away on the break before rolling his finish into the bottom-left corner.

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