EURO 2024: Cody Gakpo and Donyen Malen power Netherlands past Romania

Donyen Malen and Cody Gakpo fired Netherlands past Romania || Image credit: Imago

EURO 2024: Cody Gakpo and Donyen Malen power Netherlands past Romania

Faruq Ibrahim 18:53 - 02.07.2024

The Netherlands showed significant improvement from their lacklustre group stage performances as they beat Romania with a dominant showing to advance into the quarter-final.

Cody Gakpo and Donyen Malen were in top goalscoring form as they inspired the Netherlands to a 3-0 win against Romania and advanced to the quarter-finals of the European Championships.

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How it happened

The Liverpool star opened the scoring in the 20th minute, moving himself up the top scorer ranking to joint-first. He assisted Malen to make it 2-0 in the 83rd minute, and in the 90th minute, the Dortmund man doubled his tally to hand the Dutch a result that matched their performance.

Ronald Koeman’s side started how they meant to go on, dominating possession early and creating goal-scoring chances. Romania steadily grew into the game and came close to scoring in the 14th minute when Dennis Man danced through Orange's defence before firing his effort over the bar. 

The once champions of the Euros, Netherlands, soon regained dominance, and in the 20th minute, they were rewarded for their industry when Gakpo took fate into his own hands, firing last Florian Nita to give his side the lead. 

The Netherlands had multiple chances to double the lead in what was a comfortable first half, however, the scoreline remained the solitary goal as both teams headed into the break with all to play for. 

Romania charged out of the gate in the second-half, testing Verbruggen early on, but the Netherlands soon resumed the possession dominance they enjoyed throughout the first-half and were creating threats of their own.

The Netherlands camped their opponents in their half and had multiple chances to double their lead, but poor finishing kept Romania in the game. At intervals, the Tricolorii came up for air and looked capable of causing problems for the Dutch in transition, reminding Ronald Koeman’s side of the threat they posed.

Gakpo thought he doubled his and Netherland’s tally on the evening when he pounced on a loose ball in the box; however, he was deemed offside, and the goal was chalked off. The Oranje had wave after wave of attacks, and despite creating quality chances, they failed to find the back of the net. 

They eventually got their second in the 83rd minute after a mazy run from Man of the Match, Gakpo. The Liverpool ace threaded the byline, saving the ball from going out of play before poking it to Donyen Malen, who eased it past Florin Nita. 

The Dortmund man struck again seven minutes after, sealing the victory with a disguised shot to beat the flat-footed Nita and confirm the Netherlands' victory. 

The Dutch are now in the quarter-finals of the European Championships and will face the winner of the match between Austria and Turkey scheduled for later tonight.