European Championship

June 17, 2008



2 - 0


Group C

18:45 +00:00, June 17, 2008

Stade de Suisse Wankdorf

Referee: Massimo Busacca (SUI)

Game 22

  • 93'

    The Netherlands, the Group C winners, end with a fairly easy 2-0 victory over Romania. They are joined in the quarter-finals by Italy who beat 10-man France 2-0.

  • 93'

    That's fulltime.

  • 92'

    Mutu is tackled by Heitinga on the edge of the box; perhaps he has tried to do too much himself, or perhaps he has been too isolated. Whatever, his tournament is over.

  • 92'

    The Dutch fans in fine voice as the last moments play out.

  • 91'

    For Holland three wins in three games in Berne and they go into a quarter-final against either Russia or Sweden in fine form and in high spirits.

  • 91'

    Romania will leave with their heads held high from the Group of Death. A draw against France made it very interesting, but that misses penalty late-on against Italy proved so costly.

  • 90'

    Contra can't keep an over-hit pass in touch and another poor Romanian attack comes to nothing.

  • 89'

    A little trick from Van Persie opens the Romanians again; cheeky touch - the team losing never like the show-boating opponent!

  • 88'

    The Dutch have never really been troubled by Romania, who have battle but never really threatened.

  • 87'

    Three wins out of three for Holland thanks to a crisp, powerful drive. He chested the ball down, beat a man and lashed home a wonderful volley. 2-0 and Romania are now surely out and Italy are through.

  • 87'

    Goal for Holland - Robin Van Persie!

  • 87'

    Romania have been poor, I'm sorry to say.

  • 86'

    Contra gives the ball away as he probes the left side; Melchiot steals it from him.

  • 85'

    Not like that. Poor corner and after a scrappy moment in the box the Dutch break.

  • 84'

    Romania earn a corner thanks to Rat's deflected cross. Can they get something from their first corner of the game?

  • 83'

    Mutu wastes a decent chance, with his shot blocked on the edge of the area.

  • 82'

    Two changes, one for Holland one for Romania: Off goes Nicolita in favour of Petre for the Romanians; for Holland Huntelaar gets a rest while Jan Vennegoor comes on.

  • 81'

    Van Persie with an improvised volley nearly adds to the Dutch scoreline.

  • 80'

    Time running out for Romania...

  • 79'

    A nice backheel from the ref - he's Swiss, and by the looks of that touch could have been playing for the co-hosts.

  • 78'

    Romania waste two great chances to get back into the game on the break. Daniel Niculae squandering a chance by hammering wide.

  • 78'

    Van Persie takes; he clips the ball in. Tamas eventually half clears it

  • 77'

    Chivu gets a booking for a crunching tackle on De Cler on the edge of the box. Nasty. Dangerous freekick to the Dutch.

  • 77'

    Van Persie drops deep and looks to create something.

  • 76'

    Melchiot stretches his legs down the right wing and whips in a dangerous ball, but Romania head clear.

  • 75'

    There are some tired Romanian legs and some forlorn looking Romanian players. One senses that they feel the chance has gone.

  • 73'

    Romania lack quality. Mutu is a class apart, but him aside they are short on true international class players, a fact which is becoming all too apparent.

  • 72'

    Melchiot deals well with dangerous diagonal ball and the latest weak Romanian attack is snuffed out.

  • 71'

    Perhaps the Romanian's have decided the time has come to gamble - off goes midfielder Codrea on comes striker Nicolae Marius Dica.

  • 70'

    Romania are still playing deep, inviting on pressure and attacking on the break. Surely the time has come to attack, go all out and chase the goals they need?

  • 69'

    Van Persie's amazing ball aimed to Afellay is cut out by Tamas - good ball, even better tackle.

  • 68'

    Holland keeping the ball well, spreading it about as they look for an opening. That is until Melchiot gets it on the right wing and quickly illustrates why centre-halves should not play on right wing.

  • 67'

    Huntelaar is ruled to have fouled Ghionea as he leapt to meet a cross from Kuyt.

  • 66'

    Chivu is bellowing encouragement to his troops.

  • 65'

    25 minutes to go. Freekick to the Romanians after a foul by Engelaar.

  • 64'

    Will we have another result like that amazing 3-2 between Turkey and the Czech Republic? There is still time for Romania, they just need to keep the tempo high and keep believing. It can be done.

  • 63'

    The Romanian fans go quiet again. They need to lift their players.

  • 62'

    That really doesn't change much for Romania; they need to win, they need two goals.

  • 61'

    There's a goal in Zurich and it's gone to Italy. De Rossi gives the World Cup holders a 2-0 lead, thanks to a deflection from Henry.

  • 61'

    A change for the Netherlands: Robben is off and Dirk Kuyt is on. Robben did well, looked very sharp and so quick, but his job is done for the night.

  • 60'

    Romania pressing - but again Mutu is called offside. He's getting frustrated.

  • 59'

    A change for Romania, a striker for a striker. Off goes Marius Constantin Niculae and on comes Daniel Niculae - no relation!

  • 58'

    Offside given aganist Mutu - close call. The chance came after Bouma's stupid ball from deep was cut out.

  • 57'

    Boulahrouz's last contribution to the game is a rasping drive which only just flies wide. He is replaced by Mario Melchiot.

  • 56'

    Van Basten has three players warming up - looks like he is planning a change.

  • 55'

    Robben is showing his explosive pace this half, in fact it was a run and cross from him that led to the goal for Huntelaar.

  • 54'

    Trouble for Romania - they need two goals. Two for themselves if they are to win here, or one for themselves and one for France.

  • 53'

    Huntelaar grabs his first goal for the tournament (8th for his country) with a neat side-footed effort from an Afellay cross.

  • 53'

    Goal for Holland!

  • 52'

    Engelaar with a great defence-splitting pass creates an opening for Van Persie, but he was always stretching to reach it and Lobont gathers the loose ball.

  • 51'

    Romania still playing deep and countering in numbers on the quick break. It might take a moment of skill from Robben or Van Persie to unlock the Romanian defence.

  • 50'

    Robben is taken out by Nicolia on the left flank.

  • 49'

    Van Perise's corner is wasted, but the chance a moment ago was superb; he truned Tamas after a wonderful first touch and then fired low and to the keeper's left - only a fine save denied him.

  • 48'

    Van Persie is denied by a great save from Romania's keeper Lobont. Corner.

  • 47'

    Mutu's delivery is not the best and Huntelaar manages to clear the danger.

  • 47'

    A chance for Romania with a freekick just in from the corner flag - five men up.

  • 46'

    Mutu loses out to Heitinga on the edge of the box after a danergous run.

  • 45'

    Mutu opens the half with a low drive on goal in the opening seconds of the match.

  • 45'

    Here we go again. Is this the last 45 minutes of Romania's tournament or will there be a twist? If France equalise against Italy Romania go through, and if Romania score then they go through.

  • 45'

    That's halftime. As it stands Italy who lead in Zurich would go through to the quarters with the Netherlands.

  • 44'

    Engelaar chances his luck with a drive from 35 yards. High, wide and not very handsome.

  • 43'

    Great move by Romania. Rat with a cut back from the byline, but Codrea sidefoot's Romania's best chance high and wide.

  • 42'

    De Zeeuw with wonderful defence splitting ball which finds Engelaar open; he spreads it wide to Boulahrouz who crosses toward Robben who is beaten to the ball by two men. Much to his chagrain.

  • 41'

    Nicolita lets a decent chance for Romania go begging by losing control of the ball; it trickles out for a goalkick.

  • 41'

    Handball given against De Cler, he knew little about it, but it was handball. Romania call men forward.

  • 40'

    Van Persie wants a bit too long on the ball on the edge of the box and Contra nips the ball off his feet and Romania break.

  • 39'

    Romania getting forward a bit more and keeping bodies up-field.

  • 38'

    Mutu drops deep, fights off the attention of three players before feeding a ball inside into Cocis who slips just as he shoots; the shot flies wide. But a decent move.

  • 37'

    Afellay turns Cocis inside out before firing on goal and winning a corner thanks to a deflection of some poor chap's groin. Ouch.

  • 35'

    Robben misses the chance of the game with a deft toe-poke which goes just wide of the post. A lovely, neat move. Great one touch movement with Huntelaar, with his back to goal, guiding a wonderful little pass inside to Robben.

  • 34'

    Boulahrouz with a ball that just beats Robben at the back post. Robben claims a foul, but in truth he slipped.

  • 33'

    Romania respond at once with a lightening quick attack; a ball from the right wing is just too long for Niculae and Mutu.

  • 32'

    The Dutch squander a great chance to take the lead - but the offside flag was up. Lucky escape for Romania. And Huntelaar.

  • 31'

    No need to panic for Romania. They have kept the Dutch quiet so far, all they need is a goal to go through.

  • 30'

    Mutu drops his shoulder on the edge of the box to beat Bouma and fire on goal - it's wide, but the striker shows he is a real menace anywhere near the area.

  • 29'

    Cocis is shoved off the ball by Heitinga. Cocis should perhaps have shot first time rather than risk taking a touch and controlling it; doing so allowed the defender back in.

  • 28'

    Robben, who has been quiet so far this evening, nearly escapes down the left, but Contra gets back with a vital tackle.

  • 27'

    Romania get their foot on the ball and start to edge forward. But a hopeful ball finds Dutch keeper Stekelenburg and again the Romanians must retreat en masse.

  • 26'

    The news has clearly reached the Romanian fans who have lost their collective voice for a moment.

  • 25'

    This means Romania can no longer go through with a draw - they must win here.

  • 24'

    Developments in Zurich. Italy have scored a penalty and France are down to ten men with Abidal sent off.

  • 23'

    A freekick for the Dutch - a bit of pushing and shoving in the area. Robben takes, but fails to beat the first man. Poor.

  • 22'

    Rat whips a throw-in toward Mutu who fires a dangerous shot across the face of goal. Half chance.

  • 21'

    Superb tackle on Van Persie by Ghionea; perfect.

  • 21'

    Mutu working hard, but his ball finds touch rather than a team-mate and Romania turn tail and stream back into defence.

  • 20'

    Handball given against Huntelaar in the penalty area when he was poised to pull the trigger; good covering work from Contra put the big man off.

  • 20'

    A lot of possession for Holland, but not too many clear chances, they might make me feel uncomfortable, but they are marshalling the Dutch quite well.

  • 19'

    Trouble for France as Franck Ribery has been stretchered off and will play no further part tonigh.

  • 18'

    A half chance for Van Persie who leaps for a header at the back post after a deep ball from Engelaar.

  • 17'

    Passes exchanged in the Romania midfield with Nicolita, Codrea and Ghionea probing for an opening.

  • 16'

    Romania happy to sit deep and let the Dutch enjoy most of the ball before breaking in numbers, as they do here with Contra causing problems on the right wing.

  • 15'

    Contra with a great sliding tackle to block a ball aimed at De Cler. Romania turn defence to attack with Codrea exploiting the gap left by De Cler.

  • 14'

    Romania now move forward in numbers - they are clearly a well drilled unit. Attack and defending with a safety in numbers principle.

  • 13'

    Chivu breaks out of defence to charge down a shot - Romania are too deep for me. Engelaar shot from 30 yards and there must have been seven men behind the ball; and clever play from the Dutch could see them break through - it's risky stuff.

  • 12'

    Van Persie uses all his pace and skill to keep a wayward ball in play; sadly there is no-one to meet his cross and Romania can breathe.

  • 12'

    Huntelaar is grafting hard to find space.

  • 11'

    As it stands Romania will go through with the Netherlands as the game between France and Italy remains goal-less.

  • 10'

    Romania have 11 men behind the ball inviting on the Dutch. It's a tactic which has proved risky but effective against France and Italy.

  • 9'

    We've still only seen one goal direct from a freekick at Euro2008, that thunderbolt of Ballack's last night.

  • 8'

    Skipper Chivu takes a three-step run and plants his left foot right through the ball, but while the angle was good the ball didn't not come down quick enough. Goal kick.

  • 7'

    Freekick in a dangerous, shootbale position, 35 yards out. Engelaar took out Mutu.

  • 7'

    Offside given against Romania, the Dutch just stepping up to catch out two strikers.

  • 6'

    Bouma unleashes a long and slightly hopeful ball forward; it seems the Dutch have been given a mandate to attack.

  • 5'

    Game just opening up now after a very tentative five minutes.

  • 4'

    A let off for Romania as Van Persie mis-read a move by Afellay and the door is shut.

  • 3'

    Mutu turns his marker inside out and drives a danergous ball in. And Constantin Niculae fires a shot in on Stekelenberg. Cheeky little spell for Romania.

  • 3'

    Freekick to Romania for a strong challenge by De Zeeuw.

  • 2'

    A cagey opening, both sides just sizing eachother up. Romania are very deep inviting the pressure but smothering any danger before it really has a chance to appear.

  • 1'

    Patient build up from the Dutch with Bouma, Heitinga and Boulahrouz seeing plenty of the ball.


    A pensive Marco Van Basten watches from the sidelines as the Dutch get an early throw.


    So, here goes nothing! The Netherlands kick-off with Huntelaar getting things started. There was quite a wait in Bern as the synchronised start with Italy v France in Zurich didn't quite match up!


    The Netherlands have made nine changes, but two of those are the introduction of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie; so Van basten not exactly taking the foot off the gas!


    This is a complicated one, friends. If Romania win they are through. In fact a draw could see them progress as well, providing France and Italy draw. There a lot of permutations, and I mean a lot. We'll worry about them as the night progresses. For now settle down for the action.


    And Romania: Lobont, Contra, Tamas, Ghionea, Rat, Cocis, Codrea, Chivu, Nicolita, Marius Niculae and Mutu. Subs from: Popa, Stancioiu, Petre, Marica, Sapunaru, Moti, Cristea, Dica, Daniel Niculae and Radu.


    The teams, starting with Holland: Stekelenburg, Boulahrouz, Heitinga, Bouma, De Cler, De Zeeuw, Engelaar, Afellay, Van Persie, Robben and Huntelaar. Subs from: Van der Sar, Timmer, Ooijer, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, van Nistelrooy, Sneijder, Melchiot, De Jong, Kuyt, Vennegoor of Hesselink and Van der Vaart.


    Join us at 1945BST to see if Romania can pull off a footballing miracle in the 'group of death' by beating Holland and knocking out Italy and France in the process. Here's hoping eh?!