Romania

Tullio Puglia - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

NYCFC’s Mitrita scores 2nd stunner of international break

1 Comment

New York City FC star Alexandru Mitrita’s very good club summer is folding into a very decent international tenure, at least individually.

Mitrita scored again on Tuesday, zipping onto your screen to steal the ball just inside half before dancing toward the 18 and lashing an opening goal for Romania in EURO 2020 qualification against Norway on Tuesday.

[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]

Unfortunately, the Romanians would concede an equalizer to Norway and cost itself prime positioning in the race for a place in the tournament, but it was quite a bit of work from Mitrita.

It was only a slight downgrade from his Friday beauty.

Mitrita had not scored in his first seven caps for Romania and didn’t get called over the summer as he worked into the frame as one of NYCFC’s Designated Players.

Safe to say things have progressed nicely.

UEFA bans fans from three EURO 2020 qualifiers for racism

Getty Images
1 Comment

NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA has punished three countries for racist behavior by fans at European Championship qualifying games, ordering them to play in empty stadiums.

Romania, Hungary and Slovakia will all serve the punishments during their next home qualifier in October. The visiting teams will be Norway, Azerbaijan and Wales, respectively.

UEFA says Romania’s federation faces a second stadium closure during a one-year probationary period.

Romania was also charged with other fan disorder during a 2-1 loss against Spain this month, including fans on the pitch stopping play. UEFA imposed a fine of 83,000 euros ($91,200).

Hungary and Slovakia were sanctioned by racist behavior by fans when the neighboring countries played in Budapest on Sept. 9.

UEFA fined Hungary 67,125 euros ($73,750) for a range of other offenses, and ordered Slovakia’s federation to pay 20,000 euros ($22,000).

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

UEFA gives partial stadium bans to Bulgaria, Romania for fan racism

UEFA
Leave a comment

NYON, Switzerland (AP) Bulgaria will have to close part of its national stadium for European Championship qualifiers against England and the Czech Republic because of fan racism.

UEFA issued the order, saying Bulgarian fans were racially abusive during a 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic and a 3-2 loss to Kosovo last month.

Bulgaria hosts England on Oct. 14 and the Czech Republic on Nov. 17.

Romania has also been ordered to close part of its home stadium for a future under-21 game after UEFA ruled its fans behaved in a racist manner during the European under-21 championship last month.

Another racism case against Latvia was dropped.

UEFA also handed out various fines to Romania, Ukraine, and Greece for rowdy behavior by fans.

England U-21’s collapse late again in defeat to Romania

Getty Images
1 Comment

A wild final 15 minutes saw Romania come out on top of England at the U-21 Euros, sealing a disappointing end to their tournament in the group stage after just two matches.

The game was 0-0 through the first half as England looked spotty and Romania struggled to get past Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson. Questions will be asked of England boss Andy Boothroyd who controversially chose to bench sparkling Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden and the team appeared toothless without him.

Foden came on in the 57th minute but it remained scoreless until the 76th minute when it all kicked off with a bang. Inter youth product and Palermo striker George Puscas struck from the penalty spot after Everton youth product Jonjoe Kenny tripped Romanian substitute Florinel Coman in the area.

That lit the fuse and the game exploded. Leicester City’s Demari Gray equalized three minutes later off a set-piece situation, but Romania would go in front again via Ianis Hagi, son of the great Gheorghe Hagi, who deposited a low piledriver for the lead with five minutes to go, although the game was far from over. Just a minute later Tammy Abraham collected a cross onto his chest and produced a fine cut finish for another England equalizer at 2-2.

That is where England collapsed and Coman became a hero. Having already created one chance with earning the earlier penalty, the Steaua Bucuresti winger bagged a late brace, first striking on a gift from Henderson on a speculative shot from distance that squirted underneath the goalkeeper. The second was far more deserving of a late winner, a glittering volley on the bounce from well outside the box that rose and dipped into the top-left corner.

The late flop is the second of the tournament for England and ultimately becomes their legacy for the summer. They collapsed late in a 2-1 defeat to France in their group stage opener, seeing Crystal Palace full-back and rumored Manchester United target Aaron Wan-Bissaka turn home an unlikely own-goal in the 95th minute.

Boothroyd, who signed a contract extension just this summer immediately prior to the tournament, was criticized heavily for his team selection, most notably for Foden’s initial absence but also for his handling of the 90 minutes. He brought Ryan Sessegnon off the bench at halftime, only for the Fulham youngster to pull up injured 12 minutes later, requiring a substitute himself in a move that finally saw Foden enter the fray. For a team that won eight matches in qualifying for the competition, the face-first stagger marks a downright embarrassing result.

England is eliminated no matter the rest of the group stage results, given the best they can do is finish level with France who beat them head-to-head. They still have a chance to save face as they take on Croatia in their final group stage match despite their fate already sealed. Croatia was thumped in its first game against Romania 4-1 and takes on France later today needing a win to keep them a live. Should Croatia lose that, the final group stage match between the two sides would be nothing more than a consolation prize.

NYCFC’s Mitrita scores marvelous goal against USL’s Nashville (video)

Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Leave a comment

New York City FC attacker Alexandru Mitrita is yet to meet an MLS defense, but so far his skills honed in Romania and Italy are translating nicely.

Mitrita, 24, has scored in a pair of preseason friendlies, the latest a beauty against USL side Nashville SC, as he begins life after Romania’s Liga 1.

[ VIDEO: Pochettino goes wild at referees ]

He tortured that league, having been serviceable in a stint with Serie A and B side Pescara.

If his work so far this preseason is any sign, that should continue in Major League Soccer (if he’s not murdered by fouls).

Able to play across the pitch, Mitrita’s latest goal showed that NYCFC is going to have a wealth of attacking options with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Jonathan Lewis, Jesus Medina, Maxi Moralrez, and Mitrita.