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Romania 3-0 Ukraine: Tricolorii triumph at Euro 2024 and end 24-year winless run

Romania recorded their first European Championship win in 24 years by beating Ukraine 3-0 in Munich.

Nicusor Stanciu of Romania

Romania stunned Ukraine at Euro 2024 in the opening Group E match, beating them 3-0 in Munich.

Serhiy Rebrov’s side were expected to start their campaign off with a win against the low-ranked Romanians, but the match could not have gone better for Edward Iordanescu’s resilient Romanians.

They took the lead through Nicolae Stanciu, who sent a curling effort past Andriy Lunin after his poor clearance gave the ball back to Romania in a dangerous area.

It was 2-0 early in the second half after Razvan Marin was alert to pick up a loose ball and fire a low effort past the Real Madrid stopper to double their advantage.

Before Ukraine had time to catch their breath, they were 3-0 down.

Denis Dragus found space in the box to poke home a cross from Dennis Man, who had weaved his way past a few blue shorts on a solo charge.

There was never really any response from Ukraine, who had been tipped by some as a team to watch at Euro 2024.

They must put the loss behind them instantly and regroup as they look to salvage their tournament.

As it happened

With Romania set up very defensively, it was expected that Ukraine would dominate the ball and they certainly did in the opening exchanges.

Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk had a shot blocked very early on and the Romanian defence were on high alert again not long after as Artem Dovbyk burst through the lines, only to be snuffed out at the crucial moment.

There was a sea of yellow across the stands inside the Allianz Arena and a large number of Romania fans were making their voices heard every time Ukraine got on the ball, booing and jeering before shouting encouragement at their own team.

Real Madrid stopper Lunin had work to do more often than he would have liked in the first half, firstly saving from Florinel Coman and having to deal with a few dangerous corners.

And the LaLiga goalkeeper then made an error that would cost Ukraine dearly.

His poor clearance fell to Man, who found Stanciu on the edge of the box and his first-time curling effort kissed the bar on its way to the top left corner.

It was a simply wonderful strike and perhaps the goal of the tournament so far.

There was nearly a comical goal at the other end a few minutes later.

Radu Dragusin sent a header towards his own next following a Mudryk cross, but it whistled just over the bar.

Ukraine were certainly pushing towards half-time but their dominance had counted for nothing at the break.

And more misery was piled on by the Romanians early in the second half.

Marin picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and struck a powerful effort towards goal, which beat Lunin and settled into the net.

It was perhaps a strike that the goalkeeper should have saved, but the Romanians did not care as they celebrated doubling their lead.

There was barely time to settle down before Ukraine were 3-0 down.

A short corner from Romania fell to Man, who slipped a ball into the six-yard box and into the path of Dragus, who tapped into an empty net.

There was a short check for offside but the goal stood and Romania were really on cloud nine in Munich.

Romania have not won a European Championship match in 24 years but they were on the verge of doing so in front of a noisy crowd.

Florin Nita did not have to make his first real save until the 75th minute when Heorhii Sudakov struck from distance, but he did manage to prevent Ukraine from getting a goal back.

Aside from a looping effort that hit the bar in stoppage time, there was never any real threat from Ukraine.

There is certainly a lot of work to be done if they are to make it out of Group E and into the knockout stages.

What next for Romania and Ukraine at Euro 2024?

Romania have a tough test next up as they face Belgium on 22 June in Group B.

Following that, they will take on Slovakia in their final group-stage game on 26 June.

Ukraine will play the same opponents but in reverse order.

First up is Slovakia on 22 June and then they finish against Belgium on 26 June.

The group is still up for grabs and there is still so much on the line for both nations.

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.