The Dutch team against Romania in the round of 16, thanks to a play by Georgia

The Netherlands has more history with the host city of Munich than with rival Romania, which finished first in Group E, along with Belgium. All the countries in that group finished with 4 points, but the Romanians came first thanks to the best goal difference. In Munich, the Dutch team played two of the most important matches in history, the lost 1974 World Cup final against West Germany and the 1988 Euro Cup final against the Soviet Union.

The history with Romania is not so rich, except for some games. National coach Marco van Basten’s team won the third group stage match at the 2008 European Championship in Switzerland and Austria, after Italy and France had already been defeated. In qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, the Dutch team won 4-1 and 4-0, with Louis van Gaal as national coach.

Romania’s national coach is Edward Iordanescu, son of former national coach Anghel Iordanescu, who experienced the greatest success in the history of the Romanian national team by reaching the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup in the United States. He missed the penalty shootout against Sweden. The star at that time was attacking midfielder Gheorghe Hagi, father of current international Ianis Hagi. Two of the four Romanian goals in this Euro Cup were scored by Razvan Marin, who once again was an Ajax player. If the Netherlands win, there will be a quarterfinal showdown with the winner of Turkey – Austria, a country that won the final group game against the Netherlands on Monday.

The link with the Romanians became evident after Wednesday’s final matches, with debutants Georgia’s surprise victory over Group F winners Portugal a crucial result for the Dutch team. The wonderful dribbler Kvaratskheliya (assist to Mikautadze) and the former Ajax player Mikautadze (penalty kick) scored themselves, one of the sensations of the European Championship, although the Portugal coach, Roberto Martínez, fielded many different players to those of the two previous games they won. Georgia only qualified for the European Championship after a playoff against Greece.

Eight countries are eliminated

Until Wednesday evening, the Dutch team was enthusiastic about the opponent, after all the positions in the six groups were known. Due to the number of 24 participants, four of the six number threes will also advance to the round of 16. Only eight countries are eliminated after 36 games.

In the end, Romania and England were left as possible opponents. By occupying third place in group D, the Netherlands finished, according to many experts, on the favorable side of the calendar, avoiding five of the first countries until the possible final. Only one of the countries: Portugal, Spain, Germany, France and Belgium reaches the final. The Netherlands is on the other side.

Also three years ago, during the European Championship postponed a year due to the coronavirus, the Netherlands thought they were on the “good” side of the calendar, which was followed by an embarrassing withdrawal against the Czech Republic. Koeman’s team will resume training on Friday after a day off (Thursday) and will travel to Munich on Monday for Tuesday’s match at the Allianz Arena, a different stadium to the Olympiastadion where he previously played.

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