Image source: Liverpool fc


The Netherlands advanced to the quarter-finals of Euro 2024, thanks to an exceptional performance from Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo. His crucial goal and assist in the 3-0 victory over Romania not only propelled his team forward but also highlighted his status as one of the tournament’s standout players.

Gakpo’s Opening Strike Sets the Tone

Twenty minutes into the last-16 match against Romania at Munich’s Allianz Arena, Gakpo demonstrated his scoring prowess. Cutting in from the left flank, he surged into the box and unleashed a powerful shot that nestled into the near post, giving the Dutch an early lead. This goal not only settled the Dutch nerves but also moved Gakpo into joint-top scorer position at Euro 2024, alongside Georges Mikautadze, Jamal Musiala, and Ivan Schranz.

Image source: Liverpool fc

A Tactical Masterclass by Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman’s strategy for the match was clear: dominate possession, control the pace, and exploit Romania’s defensive weaknesses. His deployment of Gakpo on the left flank proved to be a masterstroke. Gakpo’s ability to cut inside and make decisive runs was instrumental in dismantling the Romanian defense.

Virgil van Dijk, leading the team as captain, was equally vital in maintaining defensive stability. His leadership ensured the Dutch defense held firm against Romanian attacks, contributing to the clean sheet.

Dutch Persistence Pays Off in the Second Half

The second half saw the Netherlands continue to press for more goals. Gakpo and Van Dijk nearly added to the tally: a powerful header from Van Dijk struck the post, and Gakpo’s close-range effort was disallowed for offside.

It wasn’t until the 83rd minute that the Netherlands found their second goal. Gakpo, displaying brilliant ball control, kept the play alive near the byline and delivered a perfect cut-back to Donyell Malen, who made no mistake in converting. This move showcased Gakpo’s vision and technical skill, underlining his critical role in the Dutch attack.

Malen’s Late Show Seals Victory

As the match drew to a close, Donyell Malen added a second goal in stoppage time, sealing a comprehensive 3-0 victory for the Netherlands. His quick thinking and precise finishing provided the perfect ending to a game where Dutch dominance was evident.

Key Performances and Tactical Insights

Cody Gakpo: Gakpo’s goal and assist underscored his importance to the Dutch squad. His dynamic play on the left wing caused constant problems for the Romanian defense, and his ability to create and finish opportunities was a key factor in the Netherlands’ success.

Image source: Liverpool fc

Virgil van Dijk: The Dutch captain’s commanding presence in defense was crucial. He not only thwarted Romanian attacks but also contributed offensively, nearly scoring with a powerful header.

Donyell Malen: Malen’s brace was the result of his sharp movement and finishing skills. His ability to capitalize on chances created by teammates like Gakpo highlighted the depth of the Dutch attacking options.

Ronald Koeman: Koeman’s tactical acumen was evident in his game plan and substitutions. His decision to keep faith in his starting lineup and manage the game’s tempo played a significant role in securing the victory.

What’s Next for the Netherlands?

With this win, the Netherlands will now prepare to face the winner of the clash between Austria and Turkey in the quarter-finals. This match is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, at 8 PM BST. Koeman and his team will be keen to build on their current momentum and continue their quest for European glory.

Gakpo’s Journey: From Liverpool to Euro 2024 Hero

Cody Gakpo’s journey to becoming a Euro 2024 standout has been remarkable. At Liverpool, Gakpo has honed his skills under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp, and his performances at the club level have seamlessly translated into his international form. His ability to perform under pressure and deliver in crucial moments makes him a vital asset for the Dutch team.

The Road Ahead

The Netherlands’ path to the quarter-finals has showcased their attacking flair and defensive solidity. As they gear up for their next challenge, the team will rely on their key players, tactical discipline, and the leadership of Ronald Koeman. The blend of experienced players like Van Dijk and emerging talents like Gakpo provides a balanced and formidable squad capable of going deep into the tournament.

Virgil Van Dijk: Liverpool FC


The Netherlands’ 3-0 victory over Romania in the Euro 2024 round of 16 highlighted the team’s strength and Cody Gakpo’s burgeoning star power. With his goal and assist, Gakpo has established himself as one of the tournament’s top performers, while the Dutch team, under Koeman’s astute management, looks poised for further success. As the quarter-finals approach, the Netherlands will aim to continue their impressive run and bring home the European Championship title.

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YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)!
The Liverpool FC Times Team

By Abdulkadir Salim

Abdulkadir Salim Is content writer for Liverpool FC Times

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