Euro 2024: Romania record convincing win over Ukraine

Romania recorded only its second-ever victory at the Euro over war-hit Ukraine

Romania team members euro 2024 ap Romania team members celebrate in front of their fans after winning the Group E match against Ukraine | AP

Romania recorded only its second-ever victory at the European Championship and its first in 24 years with a 3-0 win over Ukraine on Monday to give coach Edward Iordanescu a late birthday present.

Nicolae Stanciu put Romania ahead with a long-range strike in the first half before two quickfire goals from Razvan Marin and Denis Mihai Dragus early in the second half. It was Romania's first win at a major tournament since a surprise 3-2 triumph over England 24 years ago.

Iordanescu, who was the first coach to lead a Romania team at a European Championship since his father Anghel in 2016, turned 46 years old on Sunday.

Stanciu also hit the bar as Romania thoroughly beat Ukraine, which is playing at Euro 2024 amid the backdrop of war at home and hoping to give its citizens some joy even as Russian missiles keep raining down on the country.

The Ukrainian football federation unveiled an installation in Munich of a stadium stand destroyed by Russian troops in May 2022 to highlight the ongoing conflict ahead of the match.

It was an emotional match for both sets of players. It was Romania's first appearance in a major tournament for eight years and several of the players were in tears as the national anthem rang out. 

Ukraine is looking to back up its most successful campaign to date, having reached the quarterfinals at Euro 2020, where it was eliminated by eventual runner-up England.

Ukraine earned a reputation as comeback kings in the playoffs as a late goal saw it come from behind to beat both Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in the semi-final and then Iceland by the same score.

Romania impressed in qualifying, sailing through unbeaten to top a group that also contained Switzerland and Israel.

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