CONSTANTA, Romania, Oct 13 (Reuters) - A second-half goal
from defender Dorin Goian helped Romania beat the Netherlands
1-0 in their top-of-the-table Euro 2008 Group G qualifier on
Romania, undefeated in nine qualifying matches, recorded
their first-ever win against the Netherlands on a soaked field,
to move three points clear of their opponents on 23 points.
The Netherlands remain second on 20 points with third-placed
Bulgaria, who do not play on Saturday, on 18. Romania travel to
Luxembourg on Wednesday and meet Bulgaria away in November.
'It is a huge step towards qualifying for next year's
finals,' Romania coach Victor Piturca told reporters.
Goian scored from close range on 72 minutes after goalkeeper
Maarten Skeletenburg deflected a headed effort from Paul Codrea.
It was his third goal for Romania in the qualifying campaign
and he added to his memorable game by stopping a ball on the
goal line in the dying seconds.
Piturca fielded a defensive line-up, hoping to
counter-attack and the Dutch subsequently dominated the first
half, but without creating any clear chances until the 23rd
minute, when Wilfred Bouma's header from a corner hit the
The Dutch increased the pressure and five minutes later
Clarence Seedorf hit a 25-yard drive, but Bogdan Lobont made a
Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy wasted another
opportunity ten minutes from time when he missed with a low shot
from the edge of the area.
'I wish to congratulate everyone, the boys were fantastic
today as they had a lot to suffer, especially in the first
half,' Piturca said.