Romania Defeats Struggling Belarus 2-1 in Euro 2024 Qualifying Campaign
Romania continued their perfect start to their 2024 European Championship qualifying campaign after securing a 2-1 win, defeating a struggling Belarus side that has now conceded seven goals in two games.
Romania hoped to make it two wins from two Euro 2024 qualifying games after comfortably beating Andorra 2-0 in the opening round. Meanwhile, Belarus needed to regain their confidence with a good performance after a 5-0 mauling in their last game at the hands of Switzerland. Since becoming an independent nation in 1991, Belarus have never successfully qualified for a major tournament, and after the opening 20 minutes, it was apparent why.
First, Belarus gave away a cheap free-kick, which allowed Nicolae Stanciu to curl the ball into the top corner before Răzvan Marin was presented with all the time in the world to pick out Andrei Burcă, who made it 2-0 with a brilliant first-time finish. After finding themselves two goals down, the visitors did well to regain a slight foothold in the game and arguably created the better chances before HT, albeit without actually having a shot on target in the first half.
Evidently inspired by their strong finish to the opening 45 minutes, Belarus came flying out of the blocks after the restart but were somehow unable to halve the deficit thanks to a superb Ionuț Radu triple save. After twice denying Ivan Bakhar the Auxerre goalkeeper scrambled across his line to stop Evgeni Yablonski from scoring his first goal of the season. However, the hosts still posed a threat and should have wrapped up the game just shy of the hour mark when Olimpiu Moruţan’s flicked header fell to Denis Alibec, who was denied goals in consecutive games by the underside of the crossbar.
Belarus scored a wonderful consolation goal in the dying moments of the game when subsitute Vladislav Morozov netted his first international goal with a beauty into the top corner to see the game finish at 2-1. Romania now sit in second place behind Switzerland on goal difference, meanwhile, Belarus remain rooted to the bottom of the table in 6th.