Donyell Malen and Cody Gakpo lead Netherlands into Euro’s top 8!

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Donyell Malen and Cody Gakpo starred as the Netherlands beat Romania 3-0 in the round of 16 to qualify for the quarter finals of EURO 2024. The Oranje have done well so far under Ronald Koeman. However, they would not enjoy such a comfortable score line against any opposition in the group stage.

The Oranje would face Poland in the first game of the group stage. They would fall behind by a goal courtesy of Adam Buksa. Although, Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo would equalise in the space of 13 minutes. Subsequently, it would be Wout Weghorst who would clinch the game for the Oranje in the second half. Consequently, Netherlands would win their opening game with a narrow 2-1 margin.

Followingly, the Netherlands would face Didier Deschamp’s France challenge. However, the game would end in a stalemate as the Oranje would hold Les Bleus to a goalless draw.

Netherlands already had 4 points from their first two games. Followingly, they had a chance to win the group if they were to beat Austria in the final group stage game. However, Ralf Rangnick’s Austria would beat the Oranje in a surprising 3-2 win. Thereafter, Netherlands would finish 3rd barely securing a place in the knockout stages. Meanwhile, Austria won the group in the unlikeliest of fashions.

Malen and Gakpo clinical for Netherlands: Summing up the RO16 against Romania!

Despite the 3-0 score, Romania did not make it easier for the Oranje to win. They would start the game strong and display intent forcing the Oranje on the back foot. Although, Ronald Koeman’s men would soak the pressure well and turn the tide around.

It would be Cody Gakpo in the 20th minute who would break the deadlock. Consequently, he would become only the third Dutchman to score 3 or more goals at two major international tournaments.

Moreover, Gakpo became only the 6th player in the Oranje’s history to hit 3 or more goals in the EUROs. Netherlands would make plenty of chances securing 23 attempts on goal. However, with only 6 shots on target. They would also dominate the possession against Romania.

Furthermore, the Oranje could have easily been 2 or 3 goals up by half-time. Although, they were far from composed in front of goal. Malen would come on from the bench for the Netherlands showing his finishing abilities.

The 25-year old would score two late first half goals to guarantee Netherlands’ place into the final 8! Additionally, his performance was a complete masterclass! He would create 2 key chances, maintain a decent pass accuracy (94%), complete 3/3 dribbles, win 5 duels and even make recoveries during his impactful performance.

Undoubtedly, if it wasn’t for the consistency of Gakpo and composure of Malen, Netherlands would have been in a rather tricky situation. Nonetheless, they would go on to secure a good win with a comfortable margin that would surely boost their confidence.

What’s next for the Oranje?

Netherlands have successfully secured a qualification in the final 8. Following Turkiye’s impressive win over a disappointed Austria, they would be clashing against the Oranje in the quarter final.

Koeman will be hoping to put up a similar display against Turkiye. Turkiye were impressive in their opening game against Gerogia. Although, they would suffer a heavy defeat against Portugal. Nonetheless, Turkiye would end the group in a strong fashion beating Czechia 2-1.

Subsequently, they would find Austria as their next opponents. Austria would be a tough challenge for Turkiye. Especially, since their 6-1 loss in a friendly earlier this year. Moreover, Austria were coming off from excelling in a really tough group. The odds were stacked against Turkiye. Nonetheless, a Merih Demiral brace would be enough to beat Austria.

Both Netherlands and Turkiye are coming off a good win. If the Oranje succeed, they would be facing either England or Switzerland in the semis!

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