Netherlands v Romania, 17 June 2008

Score2-0 to Netherlands
RefereeMassimo Busacca
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group C
VenueStade de Suisse, Berne
Attendance30,777
Kick-Off: 8.45pm local Assistant referees: Matthias Arnet (Switzerland) Stéphane Cuhat (Switzerland) Fourth official: Craig Thomson (Scotland) Man of the Match: Robin van Persie (Netherlands) Second-half goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie in Berne ended Romania's hopes of a quarter-final place as the Netherlands rounded off an impressive Group C campaign with a third successive victory. Romania knew three points would ensure they joined their opponents in the last eight, but Victor Piţurcă's side were always on the back foot and Huntelaar, having passed up one presentable opening in the first half, clinically guided in Ibrahim Afellay's teasing right-wing cross nine minutes into the second. The win was sealed for a largely second-string Oranje team with three minutes left as Van Persie drove in his second goal in as many games. With progress already assured following victories over Italy and France, Marco van Basten named a much-changed lineup with only Khalid Boulahrouz and Orlando Engelaar retaining their places. That was little relief for Romania, however, given that the reshuffle brought Arjen Robben, Van Persie and Huntelaar into the XI, and the Netherlands started the match showing their usual command of possession, Romania having to hector and hassle for every touch. Nonetheless, the best the Dutch had to offer in the early exchanges was an Engelaar shot from distance which Cristian Chivu bravely charged down. If the key to tackling Van Basten's side was to deny them space, it seemed Romania had found it with everyone chipping in to cut the Oranje supply lines. The Netherlands were not held entirely in check, as Van Persie headed wide from an Engelaar cross. Romania then threatened for the first time, Adrian Mutu collecting a throw-in and twisting and turning to work space only to pull his shot across the face of goal. Next, Boulahrouz got behind the Tricolorii back line on the right, cutting the ball back for Huntelaar, but the AFC Ajax striker lifted his effort over. Robben was soon guilty of a more glaring miss, running on to a Huntelaar flick only to nudge his attempt wide of Bogdan Lobonţ's right-hand post. Paul Codrea may have been equally disappointed to have missed the target after Răzvan Raţ's teasing pass from the left wrong-footed the Dutch defence as half-time approached. The Group C winners took up where they had left off after the interval and might have broken through within four minutes of the restart when a long ball found Van Persie with only Gabriel Tamaş for company. But while the Arsenal FC attacker spun his marker, Lobonţ turned his low shot round the post brilliantly. The goalkeeper had no chance five minutes later, however, Afellay's ball from the right finding its way through a crowded penalty area for Huntelaar to guide in expertly. With news filtering through that Italy had taken a 2-0 lead against France, Romania's situation now looked desperate. Still unable to master possession, they continually found themselves on the defensive but while flying interceptions and timely challenges kept Piţurcă's men in contention, it was goals they needed. Mutu set up substitute Florentin Petre for an overhead kick that looped over. Yet for all their efforts, Romania were not to conjure up a second Miracle of Berne at the stadium that hosted West Germany's 1954 FIFA World Cup triumph, Van Persie underlining the class divide with the fiercely-struck second goal. The Netherlands will play either Sweden or Russia in the last eight in Basel, while Romania finish in third position.

2  Netherlands

Manager: Marco Van Basten

0  Romania

Manager: Victor Piturca

Goals:

Klaas Jan Huntelaar 54 G
Robin van Persie 87 G

Goals:

Starting lineup:

Defender Wilfred Bouma
Defender Tim de Cler
Defender Johnny Heitinga (captain)
Midfielder Ibrahim Afellay
Midfielder Demy de Zeeuw
Midfielder Arjen Robben

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Bogdan Lobonț
Defender Cristian Chivu (captain)
Defender Cosmin Contra
Defender Sorin Ghionea
Defender Răzvan Raţ
Defender Gabriel Tamaş
Midfielder Paul Codrea
Midfielder Bănel Nicoliţă
Midfielder/Forward Răzvan Cociş
Forward Adrian Mutu
Forward Marius Niculae

Substitutions:

Mario Melchiot for Khalid Boulahrouz 58
Dirk Kuyt for Arjen Robben 62
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink for Klaas Jan Huntelaar 82

Substitutions:

Daniel Niculae for Marius Niculae 59
Nicolae Dica for Paul Codrea 72
Florentin Petre for Bănel Nicoliţă 82

Cards:

Cards:

Cristian Chivu 78 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Henk Timmer
Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar
Defender/Right back Mario Melchiot
Defender Joris Mathijsen
Defender Andre Ooijer
Midfielder Nigel de Jong
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder
Midfielder/Forward Dirk Kuyt

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Marius Popa
Goalkeeper Eduard Stancioiu
Defender Cosmin Moţi
Defender Stefan Radu
Midfielder Adrian Cristea
Midfielder Florentin Petre
Midfielder/Forward Nicolae Dica
Forward Ciprian Marica
Forward Daniel Niculae

Comments:

- The Netherlands became only the seventh team to win all three group matches at a European Championship. The five at previous tournaments all made it to at least the semi-finals. Croatia also won all their Euro 2008 group matches. - This 2-0 win gave the Dutch nine goals in the group phase equalling the record set by France in 1984. - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar became the seventh Dutch player to score at Euro 2008 which equals the record for most different goalscorers from a team in the tournament history. Five of the six previous teams with at least six different goalscorers at the European Championship reached the final. - Huntelaar's opener for Holland made him only the eighth Dutch player - Beb Bakhuys did it twice - ever to score in at least five successive internationals and the first since 1974. - The Netherlands have used 22 of their 23 man squad in their three group phase matches. Only third choice goalkeeper Henk Timmer has not been used. Croatia are the only other team to have used 22 players so far at Euro 2008.