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Romania run riot to claim stunning 3-0 victory against Ukraine

Romania have made the dream start to their tournament
Romania have made the dream start to their tournament AFP
Romania strolled to their first European Championship victory in eight outings as they crushed Ukraine 3-0 in their Group E opener.

The excitement is starting to ramp up in Germany as the continent’s best teams take to the field, and Tuesday’s opener saw two more outfits make their Euro 2024 bow.

Romania came into this clash on the back of tepid goalless draws against Bulgaria and Liechtenstein, but they were by far the more ambitious of the two teams in the first half.

Florinel Coman had the game’s first attempt inside the opening 10 minutes, forcing Andriy Lunin into a comfortable save from distance.

The Ukrainian goalkeeper has been in terrific form for Real Madrid in the absence of Thibaut Courtois in recent months, but he must shoulder plenty of the blame for the game’s breakthrough, which came shortly before the half-hour mark.

His poor pass fell right to the feet of Dennis Man, whose lay-off was delightfully curled into the top corner from 25 yards by Romanian captain and talisman Nicolae Stanciu.

While Ukraine offered very little offensively, Tricolorii almost doubled their lead before the break, with Stanciu hitting the crossbar directly from a corner after Taras Stepenenko had deflected Man’s low strike narrowly wide of the post.

Romania were deserving of their half-time lead, and they were in no mood to let Ukraine back into the encounter. In fact, they only increased their intensity after the interval and were soon three to the good.

First, Edward Iordanescu’s men pounced on some more slack passing from their opponents as Razvan Marin fired a first-time attempt into the bottom corner – again, though Lunin was at fault as the shot snuck under his outstretched gloves.

The third goal
The third goalStatsPerform

Less than five minutes later, Romania’s advantage was extended further when Denis Dragus tapped home Man’s cross.

From then on, Ukraine bossed possession but did little with it. Incredibly, their first shot on target did not arrive until the 77th minute, when Georgiy Sudakov’s rifled strike from outside the area required a salmon-like leap from Florin Nita, and although Roman Yaremchuk did hit the bar in injury time, Serhiy Rebrov’s men were largely toothless throughout.

Ultimately, it was a convincing display from Romania, who can now look forward to their clash with group big-hitters Belgium. Ukraine, meanwhile, can scarcely afford another slip-up against Slovakia, and given the margin of defeat here, could do with a big victory to give themselves realistic hope of progression.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Dennis Man (Romania)

The match stats
The match statsStatsPerform

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