Euro 2024: Romania stun Ukraine with impressive win in Group E opener

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Romania recorded their first victory at a European Championship in 24 years with a stunning win over Ukraine in Group E.
Captain Nicolae Stanciu gave Romania a surprise lead in the 29th minute, finding the top corner with a brilliant strike from 20 yards out.
Razvan Marin then doubled the Tricolours’ lead after 53 minutes with a long-range effort that squeezed under Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.

Romania rounded off the scoring four minutes later when Denis Dragus tapped in Dennis Man’s cross from close range.
Their only previous win at the Euros came in 2000 where a late Ionel Ganea penalty helped them beat England 3-2 in the group stage.
Ukraine’s players are appearing in their first major tournament since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022.
Last week, their forward Mykhailo Mudryk said his family were facing Russian missiles “day and night” in his home city of Krasnograd.
Romania are 24 places below their opponents in the world rankings and had warmed up for the Euros with disappointing goalless draws against Bulgaria and Liechtenstein.
But cheered on by a wall of yellow in Munich, they were gifted the opener when Lunin’s poor clearance was intercepted by Man, who teed up Stanciu for a wonderful whipped first-time shot into the net.
Buoyed by their goal, Romania dominated and Stanciu almost scored direct from a corner minutes later with another curling effort beating Lunin and cannoning off the crossbar.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Lunin had a poor game and was also at fault for Romania’s second when he misjudged the flight of Marin’s strike and the ball went under his attempted save.
Edward Iordanescu’s side added a third to confirm their biggest win in the tournament as Dragus finished following a mazy run from lively Parma forward Man.
Romania – who were unbeaten in qualifying – are now in a strong spot to progress from Group E and face Belgium in their next match on Saturday.
Ukraine, quarter-finalists at the Euros three years ago, disappointed, taking 77 minutes to record a shot on target.
Substitute Roman Yaremchuk struck the top of the crossbar for Serhiy Rebrov’s team deep into second-half stoppage time.
Ukraine face Slovakia in their next fixture on Friday.

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