Euro 2024: Romania beats war-torn Ukraine for 1st major tourney win in 24 years

Euro 2024: Romania beats war-torn Ukraine for 1st major tourney win in 24 years

Updated Jun. 17, 2024 11:41 a.m. ET

Romania recorded only its second ever victory at the European Championship — and its first in 24 years — with a 3-0 win over Ukraine on Monday to give coach Edward Iordănescu a late birthday present.

Nicolae Stanciu put Romania ahead with a long-range strike in the first half before two quickfire goals from Răzvan Marin and Denis Mihai Drăgus early in the second half. It was Romania's first win at a major tournament since a surprise 3-2 triumph over England 24 years ago.

Iordănescu, who was the first coach to lead a Romania team at a European Championship since his father Anghel in 2016, turned 46 years old on Sunday


Stanciu also hit the bar as Romania thoroughly beat Ukraine, which is playing at Euro 2024 amid the backdrop of war at home and hoping to give its citizens some joy even as Russian missiles keep raining down on the country.

The Ukrainian soccer federation unveiled an installation in Munich of a stadium stand destroyed by Russian troops in May 2022 to highlight the ongoing conflict ahead of the match.

Romania vs. Ukraine Highlights | UEFA Euro 2024

"One team on the field but a million soldiers who stay and defend Ukraine," ," said former Ukraine coach and striker Andriy Shevchenko, who is the president of the country's soccer federation. "We are all together. We play today for the country. We play today for the people who defend our lives and our country."

It was an emotional match for both sets of players. It was Romania's first appearance in a major tournament for eight years and several of the players were in tears as the national anthem rang out.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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