European Championship

June 17, 2008

Full-time

Netherlands

2 - 0

Romania

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?!