• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Euro 2024: Can Romania pull upset against Netherlands?

romania vs netherlands

Romania will aim to pull off another shock against the Netherlands in the last 16 clash of the Euro 2024 in Munich on Tuesday night.

Edward Iordanescu’s Romania squad topped a tightly contested Group E, securing a date with the Dutch, who surprisingly finished third in Group D. Romania emerged as group leaders with just four points, edging out Belgium, while the Netherlands, on the same points, were ranked below Austria and France.

This is the first time since Euro 2000 that Romania have reached the knockout stage of a major tournament. The Tricolorii have only advanced past one knockout tie in their history, defeating Argentina 3-2 in the 1994 World Cup last 16.

Ahead of the match, Cody Gakpo has urged the Netherlands to bring their best effort against Romania. The Dutch narrowly advanced as one of the best third-place teams, following a lacklustre group-stage performance, including a 3-2 loss to Austria.

“We will need to start fighting from the first few seconds,” Gakpo said.
“We’ve got a good plan. Everybody was disappointed after Austria. We knew it had to be better. We discussed it, we trained on that basis, and we got through, and now it will really start.”

Head coach of the Netherlands Ronald Koeman also emphasised on the need for improvement.

“It has been a very long week. Seven days is a long period between two matches at a tournament like this. We’ve certainly had enough time to review and analyze the match against Austria, and what went wrong. We didn’t play compact enough, which sometimes makes it seem like you’re not aggressive enough,” he said.

Koeman acknowledged the challenges posed by injuries to key midfielders like Frenkie de Jong, Marten de Roon, and Teun Koopmeiners, which have complicated finding the right combination in the middle.

“It’s a long story and I don’t like to talk too much about who is missing,” he noted. “This is the squad that we have and we need to improve. Sometimes the communication between the center backs and the midfielders needs to be better.”

Despite the difficulties, Koeman remains optimistic, “We are a proud nation. We like to win, we like to play nice football, but that doesn’t always happen. We take the criticism… no problem… and we’d like to turn it around and make people happy about the final result. We take Romania really seriously; we know what we can expect and we need to improve compared to the last match.”

Romania will be looking to capitalise on any Dutch weaknesses as they aim for another historic victory. The match promises to be a thrilling encounter as both teams strive to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.