Thursday, July 25, 2024

Slovakia 1-1 Romania: Marin snatches top spot for Wolves in tight Group E

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Jun 2024

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Romania progressed to the Euro 2024 knockout stages as unlikely Group E winners as Slovakia also made it through with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw in Frankfurt.

Razvan Marin’s first-half penalty cancelled out Ondrej Duda’s early header before the two sides shared the spoils, as was the case in Belgium’s goalless draw in the other group game with Ukraine.

Serhiy Rebrov’s side were the unfortunate losers as all four teams remarkably finished on four points, with Domenico Tedesco’s side sneaking through in second and Slovakia in third.

Romania topped the group on goals scored and will face the best third-place side from Group A, B, C or D in Munich on Tuesday, while Slovakia will meet either England or Spain in the next round.

Despite knowing a draw would be enough, Slovakia came flying out the blocks and wasted a flurry of chances before finally getting the breakthrough.

A backtracking Duda rose brilliantly to thump a header back across goal into the bottom-right corner after Juraj Kucka’s angled cross from the right-hand side.

Ianis Hagi was brought down on the perimeter of the box shortly after, with the VAR overturning the onfield decision for a free-kick, and Marin emphatically buried the spot-kick to leave Martin Dubravka helpless.

Marin almost doubled his tally just after the hour mark, with his curler sailing just over the crossbar, while Lukas Haraslin whipped his attempt to get a winner narrowly wide as neither side could find a decisive goal.

Data Debrief: Mind the gap

Marin’s goal was his second at the Euros – he has now scored twice in his last three games for Romania across all competitions, as many as he managed in his previous 54 appearances combined.

Meanwhile, Kucka assisted Slovakia’s opening goal in this match, his second at a major tournament, with his other coming 14 years and two days ago (against Italy at the2010 World Cup). It is the biggest gap between assists at a major tournament for a European player.

Duda also became the first Slovakian player to score at two major tournaments after netting as well at Euro 2016.

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