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Romania’s magical debut at EURO 2024

In the first match played at the European Football Championship in Germany, Romania’s team defeated Ukraine 3-0.

Romania defeated Ukraine 3-0 (Photo: Facebook / Romania's football team
Romania defeated Ukraine 3-0 (Photo: Facebook / Romania's football team

, 18.06.2024, 14:00

Even the most optimistic supporters of the Romanian national football team did not believe, before the match with Ukraine, from EURO 2024, that their team could achieve such a brilliant victory. Somehow there was this hope that the Romanian footballers would have a good match that should erase from memory the poor game with no results of the last few years, but nothing more than that. Edward Iordănescu’s national team was coming after a qualification campaign in which they did not shine, but they did not lose a single match, which created some expectations, enough to bring over 40 thousand Romanians to the stands of the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich. And, surprise: the team was not a disappointment! After a start in which Ukraine controlled the game, not posing any danger to the Romanian goal, the first goal was scored in the 29th minute following a shot from outside the box sent by Nicolae Stanciu directly into the top corner of the Ukrainian goal. The Romanians braced up and attacked more insistently.

 

Stanciu then sent the ball into the crossbar, from a corner kick, and Romania ended the first half with strength and confidence. The second half started in the same spirit. The Romanian footballers combined more and more accurately, they were the first to reach the ball, and the individual technique made the difference, with Denis Drăguş and Dennis Man outshining the others in this respect. The score became 2 to 0 in the 53rd minute, thanks to a shot on the run by Răzvan Marin that tricked the Ukrainian goalkeeper Andri Lunin. Four minutes later the score became 3 to 0, after an individual action by Man finalized by Drăguş. Then several players were changed in both teams. Romania’s game lost a bit of its consistency, and the Ukrainians became more menacing, trying to score at least one goal. But that was not the case, so the match ended with the score 3 to 0, marking the most decisive Romanian victory in a final tournament. UEFA designated the captain of the Romanian team, Nicolae Stanciu the best player of the match.

 

Stanciu: “I think that, after the birth of my girls, this is the happiest day. I think that what I have experienced today cannot be repeated, it is incomparable”.

 

The striker Denis Drăguş was Iordănescu’s secret weapon. His individual play made the difference, often unbalancing the Ukrainian defense.

 

Drăguş: “You have to believe in us. We hope that we have given the Romanians what they deserved, what they expected… it’s incredible!”

 

In the other Group E match, Slovakia defeated Belgium 1-0 in what was the biggest upset of the European Championship so far. Thus, before the second stage, Romania occupies first place in the group. On Friday, in Düsseldorf, Slovakia will face Ukraine, and on Saturday, in Cologne, the Romanian eleven will meet Belgium.

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