Oct 13, 2007

Euro Qualifiers: Resurgent Romania, Gritty Greece

A resurgent Romanian national team scored arguably its biggest victory in a decade by beating Holland on a 71st minute tap-in by Steaua Bucharest defender Dorin Goian. With the victory, Romania is all but assured a spot in Austria and Switzerland. Victor Piturca's side are three points clear of Holland and five points clear of third-placed Bulgaria with only three games remaining, but more importantly the Carpathians have an easy schedule the rest of the way: at Luxembourg Wednesday, at Bulgaria Nov. 17, before concluding with Albania at home Nov. 21.

Another big winner from Saturday night's action was Greece. The defending champions edged Bosnia 3-2 and are now four points clear of archrival Turkey ahead of their Wednesday night meeting at Istanbul. The Turks now have their backs to the wall, after only managing a draw against Moldova. Croatia, England, Poland and Scotland all held serve in crucial home games to strengthen their positions. Oh yeah, and Germany became the first team to qualify, but you know what Gary Lineker said about Germans and this sport, right? (Although Joachim Löw's men didn't actually win their game, but a scoreless draw at Ireland was enough to make it official).

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