WC qualifiers: The Netherlands ends Romania’s sweet dreams

Romania’s national team lost its first game in Group D, against The Netherlands who maintained their perfect start to FIFA World Cup qualifying with an emphatic 4-1 at Bucharest’s National Arena on Tuesday night. The home side gave a record crowd of 53,329 little to cheer as the Oranje controlled proceedings with confidence, according to Jeremain Lens set them on their way after nine minutes, before young defender Bruno Martins Indi made it two. Ciprian Marica halved the deficit but Romania’s joy was short-lived as Rafael van der Vaart scored from the spot on the stroke of half-time. Robin van Persie’s late strike compounded the locals’ misery. After this defeat Romania lost also the second place in Group D, as Hungary overpassed Turkey 3-1 in Budapest.“I believe we are now favorites to win the group. Hungary and Romania will fight for the second place, although I believe Turkey has a good team too,” Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal stated after the game, pointing out that he did not expect this goal difference. “I lost a bet with my wife. I told her we’ll win just 2-1,” van Gaal stated, being quoted by Agerpres. Despite the defeat, Romania coach Victor Piturca (photo) stated that the team’s chances to qualify for World Cup 2014 remain intact. “We are waiting for the games scheduled early next year. We are now fighting for the second place. That’s where we belong, it has been proven. We will fight with Hungary for second place, there will be a decisive game next spring. This is sports, we expected to lose given the way we played, but we have 9 points and our qualification chances remain intact,” Victor Piturca said.

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