Hungary vs. Romania

Friday, March 22nd 2013, 19:30 CET

As predicted, Hungary vs Romania was a hard fought game on both sides, seeing as both teams are battling over the second place in the group. Hard enough for me to lose the bet I placed at 888sport. The game was played in front of an empty stadium, as a result of Hungary’s penalization for displaying offensive symbols during their last year’s friendly against Israel. Romania started the match better and had several shots, but Hungary was the one who took the lead in the 16th minute when Vilmos Vanczak fired into the top corner after a free kick from Hajnal.

Hungary then proceeded to attack Romania’s defense, looking for a breach, but I wouldn’t say Kiraly was there doing nothing, as he kept pushing away shots by either Adrian Mutu or Gheorghe Grozav. Romania wasted many chances, especially a great shot by Bogdan Stancu who would have brought the equalizer, but missed his shot. Szalai would have scored another goal for Hungary, but Tatarusanu blocked the shot effectively.

After the break, Romania managed to equalize thanks to a penalty shot; Mutu was fouled by Korcsmar, and Wolfgang Stark gave the Romanian team a penalty, perfectly executed by the same Mutu. The Romanian team didn’t have room for much celebration, as only 3 minutes later the hosts took the lead with a penalty of their own. Hungary breathed a sigh of relief, but Romania refused to surrender, and when the time was almost up, Alexandru Chipciu (pictured below) ensured Romania a vital point for their qualification hopes.

With this result Hungary stays on the second place with 10 points, same as Romania – who is on the third place – but it’s ahead only by a single goal difference. The battle for the second spot will be decided in the game Hungary will play this Tuesday against Turkey, as it will either make them favorites or break them. Seeing as Romania is poised to play against the Netherlands, the situation in Group D could drastically change depending on the outcome of both games.

There was a confusing moment during the game when Stark gave the penalty for Hungary, because everyone admitted it was a miscalculation, even the Hungarian press with “It wasn’t a penalty for us, it was a mistake from Stark. We could have won those three points, it was our own fault we missed the victory in the last minutes.” The rest of the press seemed to have dubbed the game as depressing, seeing as they intended to face Turkey backed up by a victory.

The Romanian press stays behind their team, but they admit the game could have gone better, provided Chipciu would have played more than just the last minutes. Many media outlets dubbed the young player as man of the match, though even the Romanian players admit they could have done better. Gabriel Tamas said right after the game: “We played a very weak game today, but this point helps us a lot.”

This is a bet I lost, seeing as I was backing up a potential victory by the Romanian team.

Result:-6 units, bet lost

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