Romania’s U-21 team has booked its ticket for the UEFA 2021 European Under-21 Championship.
Romania this past Tuesday held Denmark to a 1-all draw on home turf. The repeated performance earned Romania's U-21 team the qualification to a European championship. The game against Denmark was quite tense, with unpardonable refereeing mistakes, of which at least one could have deprived the Romanian team of qualification. However, the goal scored by the young Valentin Costache saved a game which was compromised, apparently. At the end of Romania's game against Denmark, the head-coach of Romania's U-21 team, former international footballer Adrian Mutu, said it would have been a pity for his team not to grab the win, because of the concocted penalties. Mutu went on to heap praise on his players, saying they were exceptional footballers who in the future will be part of the seniors' team. Adrian Mutu did not fail to extend his thanks to his predecessor who was at the helm of the seniors' team, Mirel Radoi, who contributed to the success of the team.
According to the group's final rankings, Denmark came at the top of the table. Following in descending order were Romania, Ukraine, Finland, Northern Ireland and Malta. The nine teams that came at the top of the table in the preliminary groups as well as the best five teams in the runner-up position will join host teams Hungary and Slovenia for UEFA 2021 European Under-21 Championship. Matches as part of the four groups of the final tournament are scheduled for March 2021. The teams that will go though from the group stage, the first two teams in descending order will fight for the European title in the eliminatory stages scheduled in Hungary and Slovenia, over May 31 and June 6, 2021.
The footballer who scored the goal in the match against Denmark, Valentin Costache, voiced his hope that at the 2021 edition of the European Under-21 Championship Romania's U-21 team's performance would be on a par with the remarkable feat the team succeeded in the previous edition of the championship, jointly held in Italy and San Marino. Back them the team reached as far as the semifinals. We recall defending champion team Germany eliminated Romania, a team that had the upper hand for the first half of the game. It was an auspicious tournament for Romanian footballers.The team qualified for the semifinals from the top position in a strong group which included Croatia and England, teams Romania outclassed, as well as France, a team Romania held to a blank draw. In 2019, Romania's qualification was tantamount to booking the tickets for the Tokyo Olympics, delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic. Everybody spoke highly of Romania's U-21 team, yet that cannot avoid the mediocrity the seniors' team has indulged in so far. Pundits also ask what happens with the U-21 footballers when they grow mature. Former international footballer Mirel Radoi's remarkable feats with the U-21 team earned him the position of head-coach for the seniors' team. However, with Radoi at the helm, the seniors' team failed to qualify for the European championship. At the moment, the only thing the national team can do is fight for a better position in the recently-invented UEFA Nations League. Such a position might create a better chance ahead of the drawing of lots for the next edition of the World Championship.
Romania's last participation in a world championship occurred in 1998, in France.
(Translation by Eugen Nasta)