Netherlands hope to get their rhythm back against Romania

Last Updated on July 3, 2024

No one saw this matchup happening in the last 16, thanks to some surprising results on both sides. The Netherlands were not the favorites to win Group D but were expected to come in second behind France. 

They started strong by beating Poland and were also top of the group after a draw with France. The Netherlands had control of their fate but a 3-2 loss to Austria in the final game dropped them from first to third place. Luckily, their four points were enough to advance as one of the best third-placed teams, ranking highest due to their disciplinary record compared to Georgia. 

On the other hand, Romania was in a balanced Group E with Belgium, Slovakia, and Ukraine, with many not expecting them to win. Some even thought they would get knocked out in the group stage. The group was extremely competitive, with all four teams ending up with four points each. 

Romania shocked everyone with a 3-0 win over Ukraine, lost 2-0 to Belgium, and came back from behind to draw 1-1 with Slovakia, placing them at the top of their group on goals scored. Romania and the Netherlands will now face each other in the last 16 of Euro 2024 at 5 PM on Tuesday, 2nd July, at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

The Dutch have scored four goals so far in Euro 2024, with two goals each against Austria and Poland. Cody Gakpo has been impressive, scoring two of those four goals. The Liverpool forward aims to become the sixth Dutch player to net at least three goals in a Single European Championship. If he achieves this, he will join legends like Marco van Basten, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, and Georginio Wijnaldum. 

Romania’s coach, Edward Iordanescu, has largely stuck with his starting lineup, making only two changes. Florinel Coman hasn’t started every game, but he is expected to start now. However, Nicusor Bancu won’t play as he received his second yellow card during the 1-1 draw with Slovakia, leaving Romania without a left-footed defender. Vasile Mogos might step in to fill this gap at left-back. 

The Netherlands have returned to their 4-3-3 formation, with a stable back four featuring Nathan Ake on the left, Virgil van Dijk and Stefan de Vrij as the central defenders, and Denzel Dumfries on the right. Xavi Simons, who came off the bench in the loss to Austria, is now expected to start, possibly over Joey Veerman, with Tijjani Reijnders playing deeper. 

Historically, the Netherlands and Romania have faced each other 13 times, with Romania winning just once. Since that victory during Euro 2008 qualifying, the Netherlands have won their last four games against Romania, including a win during Euro 2008.

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