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Written By Onyeka Daniel

The first game in group E at the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament, happening in Germany kicked off at the Allianz Arena, the home stadium of Bayern Munich, and it was between Romania and Ukraine.

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For Romania, they lined out in a 4-1-4-1 formation, starting with: Florin Niță; Andrei Rațiu, Radu Drăguşin, Andrei Burca, Nicușor Bancu; Răzvan Marin; Marius Marin, Dennis Man, Nicolae Stanciu, Florinel Coman; Denis Drăguş.

For Ukraine, they lined up in the 4-2-3-1 formation, starting with: Andriy Lunin; Yukhym Konoplya, Illia Zabarnyi, Mykola Matviyenko, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Taras Stepanenko, Mykola Shaparenko; Viktor Tsyhankov, Georgiy Sudakov, Mykhaylo Mudryk; Artem Dovbyk.


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Going into this game, Romania, according to the bookmakers were seen as the inferior team, but that did not stop them from showing what they’re capable of, and providing the first real upset at the European Championship.

They should their defensive solidity, lead by Tottenham Hotspur defender, Dragusin and their attackers also came to the party with the experience of Stanciu and Man causing problems and they did combine well for the first goal. The first half kicked off in earnest and it was the Ukrainians that looked like the better side, seeing plenty of possession.

While Romania tried to remain tight at the back and hit on the counter. After several attempts, it did pay off, but not for the first goal, instead it was a defensive slip up from Ukraine that led to the goal in the 29th minute. Parma winger, Dennis Man laid it off for Stanciu at the edge of the box.

Of course, the Romanian captain made no mistake from the edge of the box and puts the ball into the top left corner for the opener. At this point, the game settled into a familiar rhythm, with Ukraine dominating and Romania content with defending and counter attacking.

While the first half ended without any further goal, Romania doubled their lead in the second half, using a classic counter to maximum effect and they still needed the ball to fall nicely into the feet of Razvan Marin for the second goal in the 53rd minute.

The Empoli midfielder pounced on a loose ball to hit a first time shot that squirmed under the keeper into the bottom left corner to double their lead. Four minutes later, they got their third goal as their confidence seem to be growing with each minute.

It was a corner, taken short and Man was the man behind the goal again, beating a defending inside the box and his pass was turned in by Dragus from close range with an easy finish. At this point, Romania were content with seeing out the game and not giving their opponent any avenue back into the game.

Meanwhile…

It’s worth noting that Man also had a hand in the second while Ukraine goalkeeper, Lunin was generally poor in the game. This is the first time that Romania will ever win their opening match at any competition and they will definitely be looking up to their next game against Belgium on the 22nd.

Read Also: Euro 2024: A Quick Slide Into Group E

This match that could potentially see them seal a place in the next round if they can avoid a defeat. For Ukraine, they will be hoping to redeem themselves with a better result against Slovakia in the 21st in their second game.

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