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Gakpo stars as the Netherlands see off Romania


The Netherlands advanced to the quarters of a UEFA Euro for the first time since 2008 with a 3-0 victory over Romania from Munich.

Donyell Malen had a brace with Liverpool winger Cody Gakpo scoring the other and adding an assist.

Despite the Oranje having a number of great chances and enjoying dominant possession numbers, much of the match balanced on a knife-edge because of how wasteful Ronald Koeman's side was with their chances.

After a strong spell to open the match, Romania began to get pegged back by the 15-minute mark and had trouble getting back into the first after Gakpo's goal with Inter's Denzel Dumfries a constant menace.

The Reds winger broke down the right side before doing well to shake off Andrei Ratiu and rifling inside the near post in the 20th. The shot was undoubtedly powerful, but Florin Nita should have done better. The Romania No. 1 was out of position and reacted very slowly to a shot that he saw.

The goal was Gakpo's third of the tournament, taking him level with the tournament's goals leaders. Only France forward Kylian Mbappe has more goals at the last two Euros than Gakpo.

While Romania enjoyed a small spell of pressure to end the half, regular service was restored to start the second half.

But the Oranje were almost comically wasteful with their chances. Getting final balls wrong, waiting too long to shoot or simply being errant, the fact that it was a 1-0 game for as long as it was flattered Romania and kept them alive.

Gakpo thought he had a second in the 63rd, but it was ruled off for a very clear offside.

As the match progressed and with the feeling that all it would take was one Dutch mistake for all of these missed chances to come back to haunt them, the Oranje got the breathing room they needed.

Memphis Depay forced a turnover deep into the Romania half before Gakpo did well to keep the ball in play, dancing across the touchline, and find Malen at the front of the net for a tap-in in the 83rd.

Malen grabbed his second with a sensational solo effort in stoppage time, running the length of the pitch to beat Nita and bury Romania.

The Oranje will now meet the winners of Tuesday's second matchup between Turkiye and Austria on Saturday.