https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLOq-TZEbT4

Romania triumphed over Ukraine with a score of 3-0 in their opening match of Group E in Euro 2024

Before arriving in Germany, Romania had only won one of their 16 matches played at the Euro, which was when they beat England 3-2 in the group stage in 2000. This time, the team continued to surprise by defeating Ukraine, a team ranked 24 places higher than them in FIFA, to increase their chances of passing the group stage for the second time. This is also the team’s most significant victory in a major competition.

Ukraine was not only rated higher based on the FIFA order but also had players playing for strong teams in the top 5 major European leagues, such as goalkeeper Andriy Lunin (Real Madrid), defender Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal), midfielder Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea), or the top scorer of La Liga in the 2023-2024 season, Artem Dovbyk.

However, Romania showed that the result of a match is not always as it appears on paper. The team currently ranked 46th in FIFA only has one player playing for a strong club, which is central defender Radu Dragusin (Tottenham). The three players who scored for Romania include one playing for a team in Serie A’s relegation battle, one player playing for a mid-tier Turkish club, and the other playing in Saudi Arabia.

Romania was also supported by over 40,000 fans in the stands, accounting for 66% of the audience at Allianz Arena. With a much larger audience than Ukraine, each goal for Romania made it feel like they were playing at home, with tens of thousands of people in yellow jerseys jumping up simultaneously.

Experts were also surprised that Ukraine fell in Munich, even though the supercomputer Opta gave them a 46% chance of winning before the match started. As BBC Sport commentators were reviewing the impressive season of goalkeeper Lunin and Real Madrid, he suddenly made a mistake with a poor pass to the edge of the box. Midfielder Dennis Man intercepted the ball and passed it to captain Nicolae Stanciu, who struck a powerful shot from 21 meters away into the far corner, leaving Lunin with no chance to correct his mistake.

If Stanciu’s goal had a speed of 116 km/h, Romania’s second goal was also a 100 km/h shot. From a situation where the Ukrainian defender didn’t clear the ball well, midfielder Razvan Marin rushed forward and shot diagonally from about 25 meters away, sending the ball past Lunin’s hand into the net. The Real Madrid goalkeeper could have done better in this situation.

Ukraine held the ball for 71% of the match duration and also created more chances, but no player shone like Stanciu and Marin. Not to mention, midfielder Dennis Man also made a beautiful assist in the third goal, with a move that bypassed two players on the right side of the box, before passing it to Denis Dragus for the decisive 3-0 victory for Romania.

As 16 out of 24 teams will advance past the group stage, the entire Romanian team gathered in a circle after the final whistle, believing they would progress. Dragus then celebrated with his family in the stands, causing his girlfriend to burst into tears. Meanwhile, Mudryk sat down on the pitch, Dovbyk shook his head in disbelief, and Zinchenko reluctantly shook hands with the opponents after the match.

Romanian football reached its peak in the late 20th century, when they ranked third in the world in 1997. Their best achievement was reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1994 and the Euro 2000, with legendary players like midfielder Gheorghe Hagi, defender Gheorghe Popescu and later Cristian Chivu and Adrian Mutu. The performance of Edward Iordanescu’s team gives Romanian fans hope for the team’s potential to make history in Germany.

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 tournaments and 10 national champions

⏩ Germany won the Euro 3 times (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain won the Euro 3 times (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France won the Euro 2 times (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy won the Euro 2 times (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union won the Euro once in 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia won the Euro once in 1976

⏩ Netherlands won the Euro once in 1988

⏩ Denmark won the Euro once in 1992

⏩ Greece won the Euro once in 2004

⏩ Portugal won the Euro once in 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA ranking on February 15, 2024 such as France (2nd) – England (3rd) – Belgium (4th) – Netherlands (6th) – Portugal (7th) – Spain (8th) – Italy (9th) – Croatia (10th) and bright stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to deliver top-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the first and second teams in each group, and the 4 third-placed teams with the best performance to get a ticket to the knock-out round. The opening match is scheduled for June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

⚽️ Detailed EURO 2024 match groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

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