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Por - Eng (3-2)
Eng - Ger (1-0)
Ger - Rom (1-1)
Rom - Por (0-1)
England recovered from
their loss to Portugal to avenge two
semi-final defeats against Germany, in their second group game. A draw against Romania
will be enough for England to meet Italy in the quarter-finals; providing the wrecking
The England team are in effect on a yellow
card from UEFA and we can only hope that the idiots can read what this means. One more
street rumble and it's curtains.
Maybe a little unfair to punish the team for
something they have no control over, when a total ban on alcohol before the games and
better policing from the Belgian authorities might be the answer. Riot police like a riot
more than anybody and the Belgian officers brag that they're up for it.
If England do get thrown out of the
tournament, what do the UEFA officials think the thousands of fans with tickets for other
games will do. If anything goes wrong based on their actions, then the suits should
shoulder the responsibility.
Romania will be playing for
Hagi, who earned himself a second booking against Portugal and misses the match. Romania
may fancy their chances to win here, especially as they beat England in France, two years
ago; when Petrescu dampened Michael Owen's glory of being the youngest English goalscorer
in the World Cup finals, with a bustled goal through David Seaman's legs as Le Saux could
only shudder; on the last minute of normal time. The game ended 2-1 to Romania; Moldovan
having scored the first goal just after half-time.
Munteanu will be looking to fill Hagi's role
with Ilie and Moldovan out to trouble the Engand defence; at times it doesn't take much to
trouble them either. In Gheorghe Popescu and Dan Petrescu, Romania also have two players
who are well aware of England's strengths and weakness.
The English players may be haunted by the
damage a hooligan minority may do to their hopes of playing against Italy in the
quarter-final, but maybe Romania will save the day for UEFA. The match against Romania
will be hard enough for England, and even if they win, they won't be sure they're through
until they read the next day's papers.
2-Gary Neville, 6-Martin Keown, 4-Sol Campbell, 3-Phil Neville
7-David Beckham, 14-Paul Ince, 8-Paul Scholes, 17-Dennis Wise
9-Alan Shearer, 10-Michael Owen
4-Iulian Filipescu, 6-Gheorghe Popescu, 13-Cristian Chivu, 22-Cosmin Contra
2-Dan Petrescu, 5-Constantin Galca, 8-Dorinel Munteanu, 11-Adrian Ilie
7-Adrian Mutu, 9-Viorel Moldovan
Referee: Urs Meier
David Seaman came out before the game for the warm-up. He was on the team-sheet but Nigel
Martyn lined up for the national anthems instead.
0-1. England defence fail. A
Romania corner from the right comes to nothing but Chivu crosses from the left. Moldovan
runs toward the goal unmarked and the ball hits the inside of the far post. Goal to Chivu; 22mins.
1-1. Five minutes before half
time, Paul Ince stumbles over the ball as he tries to go past Chivu in the area and
England get a penalty. A lifeline. Alan Shearer
sends the goalkeeper the wrong way and slams into the left side of the goal. His 30th goal
2-1. With three minutes of
stoppage time already played, Michael Owen
is sent clear by Paul Scholes and only has Stelea to beat. The young Liverpool forward
flicks the ball to the Romanian keeper's left, runs around his right and strolls it into
an empty goal.
England are lucky to be in front at half-time
and Romania need to score two in the second-half.
2-2. The English fans are silenced from their rendition of Rule Britannia
as Nigel Martyn flaps at a high cross. The ball falls to Munteanu,
who takes it on his chest and volleys with his left foot through a gaping hole in the
English area; 48mins.
Emile Heskey came on for Michael Owen in the
66th minute and Nick Barmby replaced Dennis Wise with fifteen minutes to go. The fire was
missing from David Beckham, who seemed to have been told not to get another booking or he
would miss the Italy game, and Alan Shearer did little more than dive on the edge of the
Romanian area -- for which he was duly booked.
With ten minutes to go, Kevin Keegan replaced
Paul Scholes with Gareth Southgate to try and hold on to the score they had. However,
Romania were always the better side and looked more like getting the winner than England
did holding onto the draw.
And two minutes from time they did. A penalty
-- Phil Neville for holding back Moldovan as they struggled with each other in the area.
sends Nigel Martyn the wrong way and puts the ball in the bottom right.
Just before the whistle, David Beckham had the
chance to put his name up alongside that of Figo. But the Manchester United dead-ball
specialist tried the shot. Romania were not to go out on another last minute free-kick and
did what they did to England in France98.
Beckam holds his head. England are out, along
with Germany, while Romania play Italy in the Quarter-finals.
England 2 -- Romania 3
Man of the Match:
The Romanian trainer for putting his faith in Chivu and getting this team to play together
for each other.
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