After their superb victory against Hungary last Friday, 3-0, Romania will meet Turkey this evening on Bucharest’s National Arena, Turkey badly needing a victory in order to keep their chances alive. Romania is currently the favorite in finishing on second place in the Group D rankings, a place it currently holds with 13 points, followed by Hungary with 11 points and Turkey with 10 points. The Netherlands tops the rankings with 19 points.
“Achieving the impossible has always been my target, but what we are chasing now is a miracle and I am aware that performing this miracle depends on several factors. (…) If we prepare well and work hard and can put in the effort, I am fully confident that we can achieve the miracle”, Turkish coach Fatih Terim told uefa.com before the game. “Our main priority is the Romania game and we are fully concentrated on it,” said Terim. “Our aim is to win both the game and the respect of the people.”
In his turn, Romania’s Coach Victor Piturca is prepared for the very difficult game ahead and is confident in a new victory for Romania, one that would secure the second place and implicitly access to the play-offs for the final tournament in Brazil. “Turkey is a very valuable team and has a very good coach. At the start of the qualification campaign Turkey was the top favourite for the second place but we have proven that we are better. Now we have a slight advantage, even a draw is good for us, so we won’t risk more than necessary. Turkey will risk because it needs victory but also because Turks in general prefer playing offensively,” Piturca stated on Monday during a press conference, Digisport informs.
Alexandru Bourceanu will be unable to play, being suspended for added bookings. The most likely starting line-up that Piturca will use consists of Tatarusanu, Matel, Chiriches, Goian, Rat, Pintilii, Hoban, Torje, Maxim, Tanase and Marica, but changes could appear even on Tuesday after the final training session.
The Romanian Football Federation (FRF) announced yesterday that only 15,000 tickets were sold so far and called on the fans to mobilize in order to support the national team. “It would be a disaster for us for the stadium not to be full. We need the fans and I hope that the tickets will be sold by tomorrow (Tuesday – editor’s note),” Piturca said. The National Arena has a capacity of 55,000 seats.
By Sebastian Hubati