Romania stuns Ukraine in Group E opener

Romania stuns Ukraine in Group E opener

Romania clearly won against Ukraine (3-0) in Munich on Monday for the first match of these two selections in Euro 2024. This victory allows the Romanians to temporarily take the lead in Group E, while waiting for the match between Belgium and Slovakia.

Published on: 06/17/2024 – 4:53 p.m. Modified on: 06/17/2024 – 5:09 p.m.

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A massive blow for Ukraine for its entry into the running for Euro 2024. Zbirna clearly lost to Romania at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Monday June 17, for the first match of Group E.

In this group, Romelu Lukaku’s Belgium is the favorite for first place, while Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia will fight for second and third place. Only the top two and the four best third-placed teams from the six groups will qualify for the knockout stage.

This meeting under the blazing Munich sun was marked by a strong geopolitical context, since Ukraine has been at war since February 24, 2022 and the invasion of the country by Russia. Serhyi Rebrov’s players repeated before the start of the match that they wanted to play for the soldiers defending the country. This heavy setback complicates their task towards the round of 16.

Read alsoFind the complete classification of group E

Exiled since September 2023 in Saudi Arabia’s very lucrative Saudi Pro League at Damac FC, Romanian captain Nicolae Stanciu was the great architect of his team’s victory.

Romania takes off in five minutes

After hunkering down for 25 minutes, Romania took advantage of a poorly negotiated restart by Real Madrid’s Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to open the scoring shortly before the half-hour mark. Dennis Man recovered the ball and served Stanciu, whose curled shot landed in the right corner of Lunin (29th, 1-0).

The 31-year-old midfielder came close to scoring a double ten minutes later. After his blocked attempt which ended up flush with Lunin’s post, Stanciu attempted a direct corner, which hit the crossbar of Lunin, who was beaten on the spot.

Dominant in possession of the ball in the first period, the Ukrainians lacked realism in front of Florin Nita’s goal, facing a well-established Romanian defense.

In the second half, the Ukrainians were completely overwhelmed. Razvan Marin took advantage of an error by Lunin to double the lead (53rd) with a shot from 20 meters, to the delight of the Tricolorii supporters, in clear superiority among the 66,000 spectators at the Munich stadium. Four minutes later, it was Denis Dragus who added to the score for Ukraine.

With AFP

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