Netherlands ended 2017 with a 3-0 victory over Romania in Bucharest. Feyenoord’s Steven Berghuis was the star with three assists in the second half. 

For what should be his final game in charge of Oranje, Dick Advocaat made four changes from the side that beat Scotland with Matthijs de Ligt, Joel Veltman, Davy Propper and Steven Berghuis coming in for Karim Rekik, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Georginio Wijnaldum and Quincy Promes.

After a physical opening, chances came for Netherlands but Costel Pantilimon denied both Ryan Babel and Davy Propper. A Memphis free kick also forced the Romanian goalkeeper into a save, while Babel had a header ruled out for offside. At the other end, Romania got in some dangerous positions, but the Oranje defence stood firm with Jasper Cillessen barely threatened.

Two minutes into the second half, Netherlands took the lead. Berghuis beat his man with some excellent skill on the right wing before his deflected cross was heading into the net by Memphis. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 with Berghuis once again the architect with a cross that found Ryan Babel in the middle and he tapped in from close range.

Advocaat then made a triple substitution with Luuk de Jong, Marco van Ginkel and Wesley Sneijder all coming on the field. Oranje continued to play some nice football and after Van Ginkel was brought down outside the box, Berghuis found De Jong with a free kick and the PSV striker stooped to head in Netherlands third goal on 81 minutes.

Donny van de Beek was brought on to make his national team debut before De Jong really should have made it 4-0. Quincy Promes reacted quickly from a throw-in to set the forward in on goal but he ballooned the ball over the bar.

The victory is a good way to end 2017 for Oranje and a sixth victory in seven games for Advocaat. Should he announce his departure then the coach can leave with his head held high.

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