Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Romania 0-3 Netherlands: Donyell Malen Overwhelm Romania to Reach Quarterfinals

by: EdwardB


Romania 0-3 Netherlands: After a stumble against Austria, the Dutch rediscovered their rhythm and brushed aside a spirited Romanian side to secure a comfortable victory and a place in the quarterfinals. Coach Ronald Koeman’s tactical acumen and astute substitutions proved decisive, while Cody Gakpo and Donyell Malen shone brightly in attack.

Early Romanian Pressure

Romania began the match with a ferocious intensity, fueled by the passionate support of their fans who unfurled a banner proclaiming “give everything for the final.” Led by the tenacious Ianis Hagi, who sported a bandage and hairnet after an early head injury, they pressed high and created the first few chances. However, the Dutch defense held firm, weathering the initial storm.

Netherlands Takes Control

The breakthrough arrived in the 20th minute, a moment of brilliance that showcased the Dutch’s attacking prowess. Jerdy Schouten, with a deceptively simple pass, bisected the Romanian midfield, finding Xavi Simons in space. Simons spun away from his marker and released Gakpo down the right flank. The Liverpool forward expertly took his defender towards the touchline before cutting back inside, taking a touch to compose himself, and unleashing a low, powerful shot that nestled inside Florin Nita’s near post.

Cody Gakpo strikes

Dutch Midfield Dominance

Koeman was effusive in his praise for his team’s “ball position,” a term that encapsulated their intelligent use of space and possession. The midfield, a source of concern against Austria, functioned like a well-oiled machine, with Simons excelling in a new role between the lines. His link-up play with Gakpo was particularly impressive, causing constant problems for the Romanian defense.

Exploiting Romanian Weakness

Recognizing Romania’s vulnerability at left-back due to the suspension of Nicosur Bancu, Koeman doubled down on exploiting this weakness. At halftime, he replaced Steven Bergwijn, who had performed admirably but was carrying a knock, with the lightning-fast Donyell Malen. The Borussia Dortmund forward immediately made an impact, racing past his marker and delivering a dangerous cutback that should have resulted in a goal.

Missed Opportunities and Growing Pressure

Despite their dominance, the Netherlands failed to extend their lead in the early stages of the second half. Malen, Simons, and Memphis Depay all had good chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. Virgil van Dijk even hit the post from a corner, while Gakpo had a goal ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

Romanian Resistance and Late Surge

Romania, despite being under constant pressure, defended resolutely. Coach Edward Iordanescu made a triple substitution with 20 minutes remaining, injecting fresh legs into the attack. A controversial foul decision against Denzel Dumfries, which appeared to be a soft call, momentarily sparked debate, but Romania’s resistance was ultimately broken.

Malen Double Seals the Victory

With five minutes remaining, Gakpo persistence paid off. He burst into the box, outmuscled Radu Dragusin on the byline, and squared the ball to Malen for a tap-in. Malen then sealed the victory with the final kick of the match, bursting through the Romanian defense once again and driving a low shot past Nita at the near post.

Donyell Malen Double Seals the Victory


The Netherlands victory was a statement of intent. Koeman’s tactical flexibility and the attacking prowess of Gakpo and Malen were key to their success. Romania, despite the defeat, can hold their heads high after a spirited performance. The Oranje, meanwhile, march on to the quarterfinals with their sights set on glory.

Holabet News is your trusted online betting site in SingaporeYour winning journey starts here!