Our match prediction:
Romania were on the verge of beating Congo DR in Wednesday’s friendly match at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, but Bokila eventually scored a late equalizer for the African team. Despite the fact that Congo played without several first-team regulars, the Tricolorii failed to emerge triumphant in Wednesday’s football match, but it has to be noted that they extended their unbeaten run to 18 games. The Romanians are high on confidence ahead of the Ukraine game, but beating Mikhail Fomenko’s men is easier said than done. Ukraine managed to keep a clean sheet in three of their last four games and considering that Romania were impressive at the back in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, we predict that under 2.5 goals will be scored in the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino clash. Both teams are unbeaten in 2016 and, taking everything into account, a share of spoils appears on the cards.
Highligted Player (Chiriches):
Vlad Iulian Chriches had an unusual path to the biggest stage, spending some time at the Benfica youth academy before returning to Romania to start his professional career at International. The central defender arrived to Steaua Bucuresti via Pandurii Targu Jiu and he needed just a year and a half to secure a big club move. After snubbing a number of offers from Italian Serie A, Chiriches joined Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013, becoming Steaua’s record transfer in the process. However, the Romania international did not enjoy the best of starts to his career in England and he was sold to Napoli after two somewhat disappointing seasons at White Hart Lane. Chiriches has struggled for playing time at Stadio San Paolo as well, and he will probably need to play on regular basis if he is to realise his full potential. Meanwhile, the powerful defender remains an important member of the Romania national team, having earned more than 40 caps for the Tricolorii since making his debut in 2011.
Highlighted Team (Romania):
Romania were one of just four European sides to take part at the first ever World Cup in 1930, and the team have since achieved respectable results on the international stage, albeit failing to challenge for major trophies. Led by arguably their best ever footballer Gheorghe Hagi, the Tricolorii narrowly missed out on the semi-finals at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, losing to Sweden on penalties. Romania made a total of seven appearances at the World Cup finals, while qualifying for five European Championship tournaments. The Tricolorii went the farthest in 2000, when they were eliminated by Italy in the quarter-finals. Tied at the top of the goalscoring charts, Gheorghe Hagi and Adrian Mutu are the only two Romanian footballers to have gained worldwide recognition, but Dorinel Munteanu, Dan Petrescu, Gheorghe Popescu and Viorel Moldovan are also worth mention. Romania play their home games at the Arena National in Bucarest.