Romania cruise past Croatia as they win 4-1 to start their under-21 European Championship


In the penultimate game of the first round of fixtures in the Euro under-21 Championships, Croatia faced Romania at the San Marino Stadium.

Croatia got the match underway and kicked off the exciting match.

With only 20 seconds gone in the game, George Puscas saw a through ball aimed at his feet with the striker getting a touch on it but, not enough to see it go round Croatia’s goalkeeper Josip Posavec.

Again Romania stayed on the front foot as Puscas received a pass inside the penalty area and drilled the ball towards the left post but Posavec made a great save to stop the striker’s shot from going into the back of the net.

After a VAR decision, a penalty was awarded in the 10th minute with Puscas scoring the penalty and opening the score in the match, 1-0 Romania.

In the 14th minute, Ianis Hagi doubled Romania’s lead with Puscas heading the ball over Croatia’s keeper which got cleared off the line and then smashed home by Hagi, 2-0 Romania.

Things went from bad to worse for Croatia who were forced to make an early substitution with Josip Brekalo unable to carry on. He was replaced by Domagoj Bradaric.

The first 15 minutes saw a complete domination from the Romanians as they were 2-0 up and playing with confidence and always on the front foot.

In the 18th minute, an error from Romania’s midfielders saw Nikola Vlasic break through and fire a rather weak shot that beat Romania’s goalkeeper Andrei Radu which reduced Croatia’s deficit to one goal.

As the game progressed, it became more even with both teams being inseparable apart from the 2-1 scoreline in Romania’s favour.

In the 36th minute, Alexandru Cicaldau had a fantastic chance to make it 3-1 as he found himself at the edge of the box and fired a shot that went narrowly wide.

With five minutes to go before half-time, Croatia had a free-kick not far away from goal but Alan Halilovic’s effort went over and wide of the goal.

Just before the break, Romania’s Dennis Man received a great pass which saw his instinctive shot going inches wide of the right post.

The first-half came to end and with both teams looking to win the game but Romania were the ones in the lead. Nevertheless, the Croatians looked strong in attack and in their passing play.

The first five minutes of the second half saw the Croatian’s see most of the ball as they created neat passes in order to try and seek new attacking opportunities.

In the 54th minute, Hagi went close when he took a free-kick from just outside the area which dipped and hit the crossbar, surprising the keeper.

In the 58th minute, Puscas missed a perfect chance to score Romania’s third after his header went over the bar.

However, Romania regained their two-goal advantage as Tudor Baluta pounced on a mistake from the Croatian defence and unleashed a thunderbolt which Posavec could not stop, 3-1 Romania.

The second-half had the Romanian’s in attack and Croatia defending heavily which resulted in Croatia conceding the third goal due to sloppy defending and passing errors.

After the third Romanian goal, Croatia seemed to be finding their feet as they enjoyed a good spell of possession.  In the 88th minute, Robert Muric stood over the free-kick and opted to take it himself, sending it towards the right post only for Radu to make a great diving save.

In the last minute of added time, Romania make it 4-1 through Adrian Petre after fantastic build-up play saw the striker volley it into the back of the net from six-yards out.

Romania deserved to win that game against Croatia after dominating the whole match and winning the game comfortably 4-1.


Romania: Andrei Radu; Cristian Manea, Ionut Nedelcearu, Alex Pascanu, Florin Stefan; Tudor Baluta, Alexandru Cicaldau; Dennis Man (Darius Olaru 84), Ianis Hagi, Andrei Ivan (Florinel Coman 73); George Puscas (Adrian Petre 89)

Croatia: Josip Posavec ;Filip Uremovic, Filip Benkovic, Nikola Katic,Borna Sosa,;Nikola Moro (Luka Ivanusec 68), Ivan Sunjic,  Nikola Vlasic; Alen Halilovic (Robert Muric 77),  Marin Jakolis,  Josip Brekalo (Domagoj Bradaric 14)


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EFL/EPL and F1 writer. @AdrianKitaMedia on Twitter for any comments regarding my pieces on Prost International.

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