Romania, victory in the World Cup preliminaries with an opponent decimated by scandals

Romania defeated Iceland in the World Cup qualifiers. Photo: DigiSport capture

The Romanian national team defeated the Icelandic team with the score of 2-0 (0-0), on Thursday evening, on the Laugardalsvollur Stadium in Reykjavik, in Group J of the preliminaries of the 2022 World Cup.

Romania played a good game, despite the fact that it evolved into a reshuffled formula, ending a series of four consecutive defeats, two in official matches (with Germany and Armenia) and two in friendly matches (England and Georgia).

The Tricolors won through the goals scored by Dennis Man (47) and Nicolae Stanciu (83) and continue the race for the final tournament in Qatar.

Romania also got its revenge after losing 1-2 in Reykjavik last autumn, in the semifinals of the EURO 2020 dam.

Although it had six beginners in the group, the team coached by Mirel Rădoi managed to make a difference in front of a team under reconstruction. The surprises of the first “eleven”, Raţiu, Nedelcu and Sorescu, did their duty in Reykjavik, like the rest of the players.

The Tricolors had the first opportunities, through Sorescu (4) and Alibec (5), but then the islanders took control of the game and had a series of notable opportunities. Camora was close to owning a goal (9), Baldursson (11) sent past the goal with his head, and then Niţă was on the post to the ball sent with his head by Kjartansson (15).

Sorescu failed to take advantage of Hermannsson’s error (23), in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.

The hosts also missed through Kjartansson (24), but especially through Birkir Bjarnason (29), saved by Niţă at 5 meters.

Sorescu, the current top scorer in League I, used Runarsson with a shot from the box (31), Nedelcu also tested the former goalkeeper of Arsenal from a distance (39), and Man also caught the goal (42) .

Romania started the second half excellently, opening the score through Dennis Man (47), who resumed the ball in the net centered by Stanciu.

Kjartansson missed a great opportunity (54) in the middle of Albert Gudmundsson, our team managed to absorb well the pressure put by the Icelanders.

Ianis Hagi sent the ball into the net shortly after entering the field (70), but the goal was canceled for a foul on the attack.

Johannesson (71) shot poorly from the box and Niţă held back, and Birkir Bjarnason missed incredibly from 7 meters (76).

Romania had the chance to close the accounts in min. 73, but Man resumed in addition to Manea’s cross. Romania scored the second goal in the min. 83, on the counterattack, Hagi launching Stanciu, on the verge of offside, who shot without hope for the goalkeeper.

It should be noted that, due to technical problems, the video refereeing system did not work in this match, UEFA said.

Romania obtained only its second victory in the group (two victories, two defeats), this being the first match in which the team coached by Mirel Rădoi did not receive a goal.

Romania will play the next match on Sunday, September 5, on the National Arena in Bucharest, with Liechtenstein. The Tricolors have some team problems, after Denis Drăguş got injured before the match with Iceland, and Denis Alibec also came out injured in the match in Reykjavik.

Rădoi: We managed a big victory with Iceland, it matters a lot for the future

The selector of the Romanian national football team, Mirel Rădoi, declared, on Thursday evening, that the 2-0 victory in front of Iceland in the CM 2022 preliminaries is a big one that will matter a lot in the next matches of the first national team.

“Even if we haven’t achieved much so far, today we managed a victory, a great victory. Even a rematch. It matters a lot for the future, for the players’ morale, for their self-confidence. It was better to beat last year, but we can’t go back in time. Let’s hope that from now on we will tie the victories and after this month we will see what are our chances to reach the World Cup. Unfortunately, this victory comes with great sacrifices, Denis Drăguş felt something in training yesterday, Denis Alibec the same today… Florin Tănase and he suffered an injury. We will see what solutions we still have for the striker’s position, because we have to score goals “, the selector stated on PRO TV.

“With the tenure of Andrei Raţiu, it was not very difficult for me, even if maybe a lot of people didn’t know him. We knew him from his youth, we went to the Olympics together, he is a player with personality. But what I want to emphasize is the fact that the players who came from the reserve bench really made a difference “, Rădoi added.

He hopes that the players will not be too euphoric and make fun of themselves in the next match, the one with Liechtenstein on September 5 in Bucharest.

“The match with Liechtenstein seems easy, but I understood that today they lost only 2-0 against Germany, I am curious to see the match too. I want to see if Liechtenstein has changed its game system, if it has changed anything. Because from my point of view the match with Liechtenstein is perhaps the most important of this series of three. That’s because after a game won in Iceland, it can be too much euphoria and not believe in a trap to make fun of Liechtenstein. There will be changes in the first 11 because we need fresh forces again in order to be able to stay as long as possible in the opponents’ field “, Rădoi specified.

Iceland – Romania 0-2 (0-0)

They scored:  Dennis Man (47), Nicolae Stanciu (83).
Reykjavik, Stadion Laugardalsvollur
Preliminaries CM 2022 – Group J

The teams evolved:

ICELAND:  13. Runar Runarsson – 2. Birkir Saevarsson, 6. Hjoertur Hermannsson, 21. Brynjar Ingi Bjarnason, 5. Gudmundur Thorarinsson – 8. Birkir Bjarnason, 4. Victor Palsson, 15. Andri Fannar Baldursson (16. Isak Bergmann Johannesson, 67) – 7. Albert Gudmundsson (căpitan), 9. Vidar Kjartansson (19. Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson, 67), 10. Johann Gudmundsson (22. Andri Gudjohnsen, 79).
Selections:  Arnar Thor Vidarsson.
Neutralized reserves:  1. Hannes Halldorsson, 12. Patrik Gunnarsson – 3. Jon Gudni Fjoluson, 11. Arnor Sigurdsson, 14. Kari Arnason, 17. Mikael Anderson, 18. Alfons Sampsted, 20. Thorir Johann Helgason, 23. Ari Skulason.

ROMANIA:  1. Florin Niţă – 21. Andrei Raţiu (4. Cristian Manea, 68), 6. Vlad Chiricheş (captain), 5. Ionuţ Nedelcearu, 22. Mario Camora – 23. Nicolae Stanciu, 14. Dragoş Nedelcu, 8. Alexandru Cicâldău (17. Adrian Rus, 88) – 20. Dennis Man (18. Răzvan Marin, 76), 7. Denis Alibec (9. Jovan Markovic, 76), 13. Deian Sorescu (10. Ianis Hagi, 68).
Coach:  Mirel Rădoi.
Unused reserves:  12. Andrei Vlad, 16. Mihai Aioani – 2. Andrei Cordea, 3. Alin Toşca, 11. Dorin Rotariu, 15. Marius Marin, 19. Darius Olaru.

Referee:  Aleksei Kulbakov; assistant referees: Dmitri Juk, Oleg Maslianko; fourth official: Viktor Şimusik (all from Belarus)
Yellow cards:  Nedelcu (8), Chiricheş (37), Niţă (77), Thorsteinsson (85), Hagi (85), Johannesson (90 + 2).

Scandal at the Icelandic national team

The Icelandic national team is at the center of a huge scandal following which the president of the Federation, Gudni Bergsson, accused of covering up cases of sexual assault committed by the players of the Icelandic national team in recent years, has resigned.

At the pre-match press conference, Iceland coach Arnar Vidarsson acknowledged that the situation in the group is far from optimal, and there is an unprecedented pressure on the players’ shoulders.

“The players cannot be 100% focused on the match with Romania. I can’t even ask them to. We need to manage this situation, to adapt to the current conditions. No team in history has experienced such pressure. It is very difficult for these players, who did nothing wrong.

Involuntarily, some players are suspected of something they did not do. It’s hard to say anything right now, because it can be misinterpreted.

We are not indifferent, but it is very important for the world to realize that it is a difficult moment for the players, who are waiting for the situation to be clarified “, said Arnar Vidarsson.

Accusations of sexual harassment

Thorhildur Gyda Arnarsdottir, 25, told RUV public television that she filed a complaint after being assaulted and sexually harassed by a member of the national team at a nightclub in Reykjavik in September 2017, Agerpres reports.

She indicated that the player acknowledged the facts, apologized and paid him compensation in an amount whose value was not made public.

According to Arnarsdottir, another woman filed a complaint against the same player for a sexual assault committed the same evening. The young woman also said that she knows at least six other players involved in cases of sexual assault.

After several emergency meetings over the weekend, the president of the federation resigned on Sunday evening.

“Dear victims, we believe in you and apologize sincerely. We know that we, as guarantors, have abandoned you and we intend to do more “, wrote the board of directors.

According to the young woman’s testimony, a lawyer representing the federation asked her if she was ready to receive financial compensation – the value of which was not specified – in exchange for her silence, which she refused.

The federation rejected this claim.

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