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Romania 0 Spain 0: European champions fail to impress in Cluj

Spain once again struggled to impress in the build-up to Euro 2016 as they played out a goalless friendly draw with Romania on Sunday.

Three days on from an underwhelming performance in a 1-1 draw against Italy, Spain again lacked consistency and fluency in Cluj.

Vicente del Bosque’s men showed glimpses of their trademark free-flowing passing style, but the head coach will expect more with their European Championship defence starting in a little over two months.

Gerard Pique wasted Spain’s best chance shortly after half-time, while Pedro also went close in the first half, but the visitors failed to do enough to break down a resilient Romania defence.

There were plenty of positives to take from a Romanian point of view, with Nicolae Stanciu – who was twice denied by Iker Casillas – at the heart of their effective counter-attacking style.

Anghel Iordanescu’s men subsequently stretch their unbeaten run to 17 matches and Romania are in high spirits with the Euros on the horizon.

Romania pressed well in the opening exchanges, with a misplaced pass from Spain debutant Sergi Roberto leading to a swift break and Bogdan Stancu just failing to make clean contact with Stanciu’s cross.

Spain started to enjoy a spell of pressure and Pique’s header from David Silva’s free-kick hit team-mate Marc Bartra and looped towards goal, forcing a smart stop from Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Pedro was next to be foiled by the Romania goalkeeper, the Chelsea forward seeing his shot saved after a wonderful exchange between Silva and Bartra.

Romania caused problems of their own and Casillas got down well to keep out Stanciu’s drive on the half volley.

Casillas was Stanciu’s nemesis again on the half hour, the experienced goalkeeper making a splendid save low to his right to stop the forward’s well-executed volley.

Early in the second half Pique wasted a great chance when he volleyed straight at Tatarusanu when the ball fell kindly to him at a corner.

Spain remained vulnerable in defence, though, and Florin Andone perhaps should have done better when slicing wide after being set free by Stanciu.

Another break led by the impressive Stanciu ended with Stancu curling over the top from the left of the area.

Spain introduced the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata, Aritz Aduriz and Alvaro Morata, and Fabregas saw claims for a penalty waved away by referee Ruddy Buquet in the closing stages when seemingly caught by Cristian Sapunaru, but there was to be no late drama as the match finished all square.

Sun 27 Mar, 2016
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