Romania stays unbeaten in Euro 2024 qualifying
Romania's national football team took a major step towards qualification for the 2024 European Championship, defeating Kosovo 2-0 in a controversial match.
The game was interrupted in the 18th minute after Kosovo players walked off the pitch after a banner reading "Kosovo is Serbia" was displayed in the stands and flares were thrown onto the pitch.
The match resumed after more than 45 minutes, and the hosts dominated and missed several chances. Kosovo were reduced to 10 men at the end of the first half after the dismissal of Vedat Muriqi.
Romania pressed for a winner in the second half and were awarded a penalty in the 61st minute after Florinel Coman was fouled, but Nicolae Stanciu missed the spot kick.
Edward Iordănescu's side eventually broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute when Stanciu scored after a superb move from Olimpiu Moruțan. Valentin Mihăilă added a second for the hosts in extra time.
Romania remained unbeaten in Euro 2024 qualifying, sitting in second place in their group with 12 points, two behind leaders Switzerland and one ahead of third-placed Israel.
"You know what the difference is between me and what happens in the public space? The fact that I don't panic quickly when things don't go well, but I don't get excited when things are working. Two days ago everyone was saying we have no chance, and now it's being said that we'll mathematically secure qualification next month. No! First of all, it's a problem that Kosovo no longer has any objectives and Israel will play them. We have our own path and we have to see what we have to do," said Romania coach Edward Iordănescu.
Romania will play Belarus away and Andorra at home next month.
Translation by Iurie Tataru