Romania's national squad on Monday evening was thrashed by Spain, 5-nil, in a match hosted by the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. The fixture counted as the last Group F match of the European Championship preliminaries. We recall Romania had already failed to secure its qualification to the EURO 2020 this past Friday. In Group F's last-but-one fixture, Romania sustained a nil-2 defeat by Sweden, in a match hosted by the National Arena in Bucharest. Under the circumstances, Romania ought to have seized the opportunity to make it up to its fans. It was hardly the case for that. The Romanian national team was outclassed in every respect on the pitch.
Spain drew first blood on 8 minutes, when goalie Tatarusanu deflected the ball shot by Dani Carvajal and Fabian Ruiz managed to score. On 12 minutes, Romania's George Puscas found himself all alone in front of Spain's goal keeper Kepa, but the latter managed to defend his posts. In the 33rd minute, Gerard Moreno's header touched the net for the second time; the Spaniard was assisted by Santi Cazorla. In minute 43, Jose Gaya's assist once again enabled Spain's Moreno to score the third goal for his team. In the first half's stoppage time, it was Gerard Moreno's turn to provide the assist for his team's fourth goal, when Romania's Adrian Rus regaled Spain with a dismal own goal.
Spain dominated the second half of the game as well, yet they did that it a laid-back manner. In extra time, Mikel Oyarzabal' s shot from 18 meters meant the fifth goal for Spain.
In Group F of the EURO 2020 preliminaries, Romania was 4th placed, after Spain, Sweden and Norway, but ahead of Faeroe Islands and Malta. UEFA Nations League's play-off stage is Romania's last chance to book its ticket for EURO 2020. In the play-offs' semifinal stage, in March next year, Romania will be pitted against Scotland or Iceland, according to the drawing of lots scheduled in the Swiss city of Nyon this coming Friday.
(Translated by Eugen Nasta)