Full-time - 90'
0 - 0
16:00 +00:00, June 9, 2008
Referee: Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez
Nicolae got to the free kick but headed it right into Thuram and that is that! Domenech claps at the final whistle but quite why I know not. His team were very average, creating little and struggling to break down a stubborn but ultimately poor Romanian side. They'll get panned in the press for that and rightly so, they were devoid of urgency, intensity and passion. Much more needed, but good on Romania, what a valuable point. Stay tuned for Holland Italy.
Romania win a free kick right by the corner flag and Romania's centre halves head up the field. They're bringing a striker on too, Radoi makes way for Dica. Can they win it?!
Tamas heads clear another Nasri ball as Gomis lurked. Then Radoi brilliantly intercepts a Toulalan ball. Well done.
Nasri looks for Gomis but his ball is telegraphed and Goian nods away. Three minutes added time to play...
A little flurry from Romania as Nicolae does well to bring the ball down then aim a ball for Nicolita but Thuram mops up.
Ribery is penalised for studs up as he tried to block a Tamas clearance inside the area.
France are camped in Romania's half but can't create an opening. Every yellow shirt is back in his own half - almost their own third.
The corner is poor, then Toulalan's ball back in is even worse. Booo!
Ribery wins France a corner. France not far off last chance saloon...
Can a pretty poor game find a dramatic finish? I'm almost certain the answer is no but we live in hope.
There's still very little pressing up the field from France. Romania have time to stroke it about at will.
Gomis makes a nice run into the channel but then pulls the ball back to no-one and the groans that meet his stray pass tell you that France are panicking.
The corner comes out to Rat and it hit Abidal and goes out but the ref, is his wisdom, gives France a goal kick. He's been poor today, a fact I shall make clear in my rating of him shortly.
Abidal's mistake hands Romania a corner. Now then...
A long ball forward from Tamas finds Niculae a yard offside.
Awful. Just awful, and that's from Romania's best player. Mutu is coming off and Marius Nicolae - who plays for Inverness Caledonian Thistle would you believe - comes on.
Chivu stands over the free kick, its 30 yards out just to the right - perfect for his left foot.
Niculae has bought a free kick with an obvious swan dive. Now Benzema is off, Nasri is on.
The atmosphere has evaporated as the French and Romanian supporters become increasingly nervous. More changes afoot...
Gomis nearly gets his first touch but Goian steals in, then Abidal has a whack. Well hit, but always veering wide.
A rare forray forward from Romania ends with them being denied a blatant corner. Oh, the ref gave a foul instead.
More pressing from France without end product. Ribery is crowded out this time.
This should be interesting, Gomis is much hyped and much touted in France. He's got 18 minutes to change the game here.
Gomis is coming on fro France, a decision which is greeted with a roar from their supporters. Anelka makes way.
Another aimless run from Malouda, although he did have FOUR defenders for company. Romania are sticking in for a point now, as we approach the 70 minute mark.
Ribery wanders in field to get the ball but all he does is limit Makelele's options to spread the ball. Ribery loses the ball when he does get it, then sulks off back to his right wing berth.
Abidal chucks a long throw into the box (very un-French-like) before hooking an awful cross miles away from danger. Oh dear.
Toulalan is the latest to have a dig from distance but Tamas gets in the way. The pressure is building....
Superb footwork from Benzema, who collects an Anelka knock down before creating half a yard for himself. His shot is dragged well wide though. Unlucky.
First change from Romania, Cocis is off and Paul Codrea is coming on.
An awful cross from Malouda. He's a frustrating player. Much like Anelka. Still, France win a corner.
Samir Nasri, Bafetimbi Gomis and Lassana Diarra are all warming up with intent on the sidelines...
France can't really afford to drop any points here, what with Holland next, then a decider against Italy to come. As time ticks by without a breakthrough they'll be getting super twitchy...
Contra goes down far too theatrically after a tackle from Malouda. The ref gives the free kick but waves the Romanian player to his feet. Well done ref.
Best move of the game from France. Ribery released down the right, he picks out a lovely ball for Benzema but his side footed half volley is straight into Lobont's arms.
Fair play to Romania, they look a bit sparkier in this half too, perhaps after being told to show a little bit more adventure by their coach Victor Piturca. Good on him.
A half decent spell of pressure from Romania as Chivu gets past Sagnol and wins a corner off Thuram. Gallas rises well to clear from the corner and France can rebuild after a shaky few minutes.
Another woeful delivery from a free kick as this time Romania have a chance to get decent ball in ther box. Radoi the culprit this time.
That's rubbish from France. Ribery had two opportunities to run at the hapless Rat but instead gave it to Malouda whose shot was poor. Then Sagnol does well to rob Mutu of the ball after a cute ball over the top from Chivu.
Mutu's curler hits the wall and then France clear. Very poor place kick's to date in this tournament. Where's David Beckham when you need him?
Now Romania maraud forward and Mutu is chopped down in full flight by Sagnol. The right back is booked for the tackle, and quite rightly. Chance for the yellow's - free kick, 22 yards out, to the left of the penalty area.
A mazy run from Malouda shows a bit of promise. He turns Contra inside and out before blazing his shot wide when Benzema and Anelka were well placed in the centre.
Ribery is barged off the ball by Goian after Benzema slipped it to him inside the area. Unlucky not to get a free kick there the French lads..
Let's hope Domenech has ripped into his team at half-time and told them to dispose of this negative bunch of banana-clad imposters quick smart. Or something like that.
We begin again....
Anelka clears the danger at the near post and that is half time. A poor opening period to be honest - let's hope for better in 15 minutes...
Good ol Rat! A good ball in found Niculae but Thuram gets a foot to it. Corner for Romania.
Free kick for France, and a booking for Goian who took out Anelka. Chivu clears from the set play.
Neat interchange between Benzema and Ribery inside the box. The latter tries to slip the ball across the six yard box but Goian sticks out a leg which diverts the ball into Lobont's arms.
Chivu's delivery is abismal and France clear esily. They need to make far more of those situations if they are to cause an upset you feel. Well, I feel I mean.
Nicolita wins a free kick for Romania on the right wing after Makelele bodychecked him out of the way. Chance for the yellows...
Contra gets a yellow card for kicking the ball away after Mutu's pass had gone out of play. Needless, pointless, stupid.
Chivu hits a sweet volley but Thuram gets his noggin in the way, before Makelele brings it clear. Come on, let's have a goal eh?
A perfect little cameo of Anelka there; a lovely turn to get past Contra then a ridiculously ambitious effort from a narrow angle when Benzema was in the box. Brilliant, then rubbish.
The referee denies Anelka a blatant foul as France try in vein to open up the Romanian rearguard.
Chivu is having a very good game in midfield. He reminds me of Emre; heavily left footed, good in tight spaces and can spot a pass. He's also wearing the number five too, same as Emre.
Ribery works the corner short and his eventual cross finds Anelka free but his header flies two yards over the bar. First real French chance.
Abidal gets a scuffed cross into the box which Ribery misses then Rat miskicks behind his own net for a French corner.
Nice spread of the play by Malouda but Sagnol's cross from the right is pitiful and the momentum is lost. France should be turning the screw here....
Malouda smashesd it straight at the wall and Romania then win a free kick in French territory after a foul on Radoi by Makelele.
Benzema wins a free kick for France, about 35 yards out but central.
Romania are woefully short of numbers up front, and as a result the ball just keeps coming back at them. They had a decent chunk of possession then but no options in the French half.
Then Rat whips in a cross and Niculae inexplicably handles the ball when challenging with Gallas. There were two team-mates behind him too. He's carded for his trouble. Silly boy.
Malouda gets round the back but can't get enough on his cross to find Anelka. Signs that the game is opening up a little. Let's hope so..
Mutu and Toulalan clash, the latter winning the ball. Mutu is up quick smart though..
Toulalan won the header but it went right up in the air before he was blown for a foul, rather unfairly I thought.
A decent breakaway from France results in a Ribery cross and now a French corner.
Chivu floats another diagonal ball into the area looking for Niculae but the striker assumed Gallas would clear it, which he didn't. Poor forward play - you should always take a gamble..
Makelele loses the ball in midfield and puts in a suspiciously 'Ashley Cole style' reducer to try and win it back. That could have been nasty...
Goian is down clutching his leg after a nothing challenge from Anelka. He made a right big scream of it too. Ridiculous.
I have no allegiances either way let me assure you, but the best thing for the game would surely be a French goal - forcing the doggedly negative Romanian's to open up a bit.
That has warmed the French crowd, who were rapidly falling asleep before that glimmer of an opening...
(Dirty) Rat is having a nightmare. He stabs a ball aimlessly into midfield allowing Makelele to release Malouda - keeper Lobont just manages to get there first though and Anelka can't turn it back into the mixer.
The sun is shining brightly in Zurich making Romania's yellow shirts nearly as glaring as Chelsea's away kit. Niculae has a go there but drags it wide of Coupet's net.
Our mate (you dirty) Rat is having a bit of a wobble early on. Good job he's not been appointed the task of marking one of the world's best players in Ribery then eh? Good luck chum...
Mutu gets his first shot away but it is poor, scuffed and generally not that noteworthy. Hey ho.
Anelka's strike partner Benzema introduces himself with a left footed drive from distance. It sails high and wide though.
Then at the other end Anelka has a pop from a narrow angle and the ball flashes wide. Wonder if he'll take a penalty if France win one?!
First half chance for Mutut - a Chivu ball was won in the box by Adibal but fell straight to the feet of Mutu, but he couldn't get it out from his feet and was crowded out.
A rare break out of their own half from the Romanians ends in a long ball for Niculae to chase but Coupet is out quickly to claim.
The wonderfully named Rat clears the danger but France build again. A good, bright start from them..
Ribery stands over a free kick wide on the right after a foul on Malouda by Nicolita.
Anelka wins a free kick after Contra booted him in the face. Chivu meanwhile, has started in midfield for Romania. Ooohhh.
A wall of yellow shirts greet France's first concerted attack. A pattern has been set I feel my friends..
Two decent balls down the channel for Mutu to chase already from Romania, and if he can isolate himself against the 36-year-old Thuram he could get some joy.
The teams are out, the anthems have been sung (badly) and the ground in Zurich is a sea of yellow and blue. There is just time to remind you that Romania's only previous victory in the Euros came against England. Thought you'd like that one.
Random musings on the teams, part II: Romania deny us the chance to have an early look at the liquid partnership of Adrian Mutu and Ciprian Marica up front, but rock solid defensive powerhouse Cristian Chivu starts and will have to be hugely influential if his side are to cause the French an upset and force them to sport that disgusted, sulky look they wear so well.
Random musings on the teams, part I: Hmm, no Evra or Henry for the French, but on the other hand no Boumsong either. Good call. But there is the huge precocious talent of Benzema up front and of course, all eyes are on the wonder boy, Franck Ribery. Can he produce on the biggest stage? Don't bet against it.
And Romania: Lobont, Contra, Tamas, Goian, Rat, Cocis, Radoi, Chivu, Nicolita, Daniel Niculae, Mutu. Subs from: Popa, Stancioiu, Petre, Codrea, Marica, Sapunaru, Ghionea, Moti, Marius Niculae, Cristea, Dica and Radu.
Here is the tram news, hot off the press. France: Coupet, Sagnol, Thuram, Gallas, Abidal, Ribery,
Toulalan, Makelele, Malouda, Anelka and Benzema. Subs from: Mandanda, Frey, Boumsong, Vieira, Govou, Nasri, Henry, Evra, Clerc, Squillaci, Gomis and Diarra.
The tantalising propsect of Italy and Holland awaits later but don't underestimate the potential of this opening encounter in Group C. The French always ooze class, but Romania were prolific in their qualifying campaign, scoring 26 goals and topping their group ahead of the Netherlands. This could, and should, be a sexy game of football people.
Welcome to coverage of the opening match in the 'Group of Death' as a much fancied French side begin their Euro 2008 campaign against a quietly confident Romanian side. Kick off is 1700BST and all the action is live with me, Chris Murphy.
Razvan Dinca Rat
Mirel Matei Radoi
Nicolae Marius Dica
Marius Constantin Niculae
Daniel George Niculae
Nicolae Marius Dica
Marius Constantin Niculae
Jean Alain Boumsong