BERN, Switzerland Klaas-Jan Huntelaar helped a makeshift Netherlands send Romania out of the European Championship on Tuesday with a 2-0 win, a result which allowed Italy to join the Dutch in the quarterfinals.
Huntelaar, the replacement for Ruud van Nistelrooy, killed off much of the suspense hanging over the game by tapping in a cross from Ibrahim Afellay in the 54th minute. Robin van Persie added the other in the 87th with a strong solo effort on left wing against a strangely listless Romania, playing its biggest game in eight years.
Romania never pushed forward with any passion or aggression and depended far too much on a few flashes of brilliance from striker Adrian Mutu.The Dutch proved their second-string lineup is sound and solid, if not sparkling and spectacular, and also helped the Italians advance. Italy beat France 2-0 in their Group C match, giving it four points for second behind the perfect Dutch.
The famed "clockwork orange" that led to a lopsided 3-0 win over Italy and a 4-1 rout over France was nowhere in sight. The Dutch players, clad all in orange, had little of the magic of their teammates sitting on the bench. They were nervous, and often could not control the simplest play in the first half.
Romania, however, was strangely lackluster. In the entire match, Maarten Stekelenburg, a replacement for Edwin van der Sar in goal, did not have a decent save to make.