Netherlands U21’s are through to the European Championship quarter-finals after a 6-1 victory over Hungary. Erwin van de Looi’s side top the group.

After two draws from their opening two games, Netherlands place in the knockout rounds was not guaranteed, and even a win over Hungary would not assure a place in the quarter-finals. Netherlands needed to win and hop that the clash between Germany and Romania didn’t end up in a high-scoring draw such as 2-2 or above.

Erwin van de Looi started with Myron Boadu and Justin Kluivert up front, while Ferdi Kadioglu replaced the suspended Teun Koopmeiners in midfield.

From the start, Netherlands were the better side with Cody Gakpo pulling the strings in the midfield. Eventually, the PSV star had a role in the opening goal in the 42nd minute as he set Dani de Wit through on goal and the AZ midfielder made no mistake with his finish.

Van de Looi made a triple change at the break with Tyrell Malacia, Brian Brobbey, and Deyovaisio Zeefuik replacing Mitchel Bakker, Justin Kluivert, and Jordan Teze.

A minute into the second half, Gakpo was brought down in the box and Boadu made it 2-0 from the penalty spot. Brobbey should have made it 3-0 shortly afterwards but the striker put his strike over the bar from inside the box.

Gakpo then made it 3-0 before the hour mark with a lovely strike from distance which flew into the bottom corner.

Sven Botman was then penalised for a harsh handball in the box allowing Bendegúz Bolla to pull one back from the penalty spot. However, Gakpo quickly shut down any chance of an unlikely comeback by netting a 4th goal for the Netherlands, slotting in a Zeefuik cross.

Botman added a fifth with a header from a corner before Brobbey completed the scoring with a fine run into the box before slotting the ball into the net.

A great win for Netherlands and they progress as group winners after Germany drew 0-0 with Romania in the group’s other game. A clash with the second-placed side in Group C now awaits on the 31st of May. That could be Denmark, France or Russia.

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