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Football: Ukraine defeats Romania in friendly after penalty kicks

The national team’s poor streak continues in 2011 too. In her first game this year Romania was defeated by Ukraine on Tuesday evening in Cyprus, thus failing to exact revenge after her defeat in another friendly against Ukraine last year (2-3). This time Ukraine won the friendly after penalty kicks (final score 4-2 after 2-2 at the end of regular time).


Ukraine had a two-goal lead but Alexa scored twice for Romania. The teams were in a tie at the end of regular and extra time. Zicu and Papp missed their penalty shots for Romania, while Romanian goalkeeper Pantilimon parried only Rotan’s shot.


“We conceded the first goal fairly easily from a free kick, we lost cohesion and conceded the second goal. Then we showed we had the will to fight to the end and I appreciate that. There is no magic wand, the team grows by playing. The atmosphere was beautiful, I’m sorry we had no reason for celebration at the end of the penalty kicks,” head coach Razvan Lucescu stated for sport.ro. Otelul Galati head coach Dorinel Munteanu, who is rumored to be Lucescu’s possible replacement, did not shy away from criticizing Romania’s game: “Romania seemed to play too timorously, too timidly. I believe we should have put pressure on Ukraine and it would surely have made a mistake. (…) I hope Razvan Lucescu will find the ideal formula for the upcoming official games,” Dorinel Munteanu said, being quoted by hotnews.ro.


Romania played against Cyprus on Wednesday evening, after the closing of this edition, in a game counting for the third place in the tournament that is taking place in Paralimni.


SUCCESS FOR SWEDEN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND


Sweden began their friendly tournament campaign in Cyprus with a 2-0 win against the host nation. First-half goals from Tobias Hysen and Markus Berg were enough to give Erik Hamren’s side a routine victory, according to fifa.com.


Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni hailed the performances of his young guns – and one old stager – after a convincing win over Wales on Tuesday.


Trapattoni’s side upped the tempo after a tame and goalless first half to power to a 3-0 victory in the opening Carling Nations Cup fixture at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.


In action involving African teams, Didier Konan scored the only goal to help Côte d’Ivoire sink Mali 1-0 in Valence. The decisive strike came after three minutes at the French venue, which was marred by some heated exchanges between the players late on following several bad tackles. Elsewhere, Ghana’s new coach Goran Stevanovic began his reign in style after watching his side thrash Togo 4-1 in Antwerp. The continent’s top side took the lead after just ten minutes thanks to Dominic Adiyiah.

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