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EURO 2016, Group A: Romania 1 Switzerland 1, France defeats Albania

Romania v Switzerland ended in a 1-1 draw Wednesday on Parc des Princes arena in Paris, in Group A of Euro 2016.

Bogdan Stancu netted a spot kick for Romania in the 18th minute and Switzerland’s Admir Mehmedi stroke in the 57th minute. Statistic figures showed Romania only had the ball 39 per cent of the time, and had just 14 attempts against Switzerland’s 19 (4 to 6 on goal), and 5 to 7 corner kicks.

Romania scored after 18 minutes, when Stephan Lichtsteiner fouled the lively Alexandru Chipciu inside the area and Stancu scored his second penalty of the tournament, slotting into the bottom left corner.

Cristian Săpunaru could have doubled Romania’s advantage but hit a post. Despite having had most of the ball, and the better chances, Switzerland were rattled.

They settled after the break, though, and drew level in fine style when Mehmedi fired home the sweetest of left-foot volleys after 57 minutes. From that point on, it was all Switzerland, uefa.com reports.

As France defeated Albania 2-0 on Wednesday, the Group A standings are now 1. France — 6 points, 2. Switzerland — 4p, 3. Romania — 1p, 4. Albania — 0p, so Romania needs a victory to Albania on Sunday to preserve their chances of qualification to the round of 16.

Romania: goalkeeper 12. Ciprian Tatarusanu — defenders 22. Cristian Sapunaru, 6. Vlad Chiriches (captain), 21. Dragos Grigore, 3. Razvan Rat (16. Steliano Filip, 62′) — midfielders 18. Andrei Prepelita, 8. Mihai Pintilii (5. Ovidiu Hoban, 46′) — 11. Gabriel Torje, 19. Bogdan Stancu (14. Florin Andone, 84′), 7. Alexandru Chipciu — forward 13. Claudiu Keseru. Coach: Anghel Iordanescu.

Switzerland: 1. Yann Sommer — 2. Stephan Lichtsteiner (captain), 22. Fabian Schaer, 20. Johan Djourou, 13. Ricardo Rodriguez — 11. Valon Behrami, 10. Granit Xhaka — 23. Xherdan Shaqiri (17. Shani Tarashaj, 90+1′), 15. Blerim Dzemaili (6. Michael Lang, 83′), 18. Admir Mehmedi — 9. Haris Seferovic (7. Breel Embolo, 64′). Coach: Vladimir Petkovic.

Coach Iordanescu: I hope we manage a win against Albania

Coach Iordanescu admitted the physical weakness of his squad: “It’s hard for us to manage two games in 3-4 days and we tried to bring some fresh players to the starting team.” They were Prepelita, Torje, Chipciu and Keseru, who did not play the opener versus France. The 66-years-old Romanian Army general concluded, “We got one point, but we’re again on the cards for qualification, it’s only up to us. I hope we manage a win against Albania.” He also promised more changes in the team, to replace injured players.

About Victor Lupu