WC Qual - UEFA

October 16, 2012



1 - 4


Group D

18:00 +00:00, October 16, 2012

National Arena

Referee: Craig Thomson

Romania v Netherlands: Preview

Team Stat Comparison

Romania Netherlands
Matches Played 6 6
Table Position 3 1
Points 10 18
Goal Difference 0 18
Goals for * 2.5 4.0
Goals against * 2.0 1.0
Last 5 L-D-L-W-W W-W-W-W-W
Last 5 home L-W W-W-W-W
Last 5 away L-D-W-W W-W
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Romania | Netherlands

Competition Stats

Romania Netherlands
Goals Ciprian Marica 2 Robin Van Persie 5
Assists Gabriel Torje 2 Jeremain Lens 3
Yellows Dorin Goian 2 Jeremain Lens 1
Squads: Romania | Netherlands

Holland's Kevin Strootman believes tomorrow's clash with Romania in Bucharest could go a long way to determining who qualifies for the 2014 World Cup.

The sides sit level on nine points at the top of Group D, both with a 100 per cent record from their opening three matches.

Holland claimed a routine 3-0 home win over whipping boys Andorra on Friday, while Romania enjoyed an impressive victory in Turkey.

PSV Eindhoven midfielder Strootman said on www.telegraaf.nl: "There are still a lot of matches, but Tuesday's is indeed very important.

"Romania on Friday won 1-0 in Turkey, which is a good result. That makes the next game even more important.''

The Dutch, now under the guidance of experienced coach Louis van Gaal, are still looking to make up for a woeful showing at Euro 2012, when they limped out after the group stage.

And Strootman believes he can see the collection of highly talented individuals growing into a team under Van Gaal, a renowned disciplinarian.

"The level of the training is high, we grow ever closer together,'' he added.

Strootman, 22, became Holland's youngest captain in a competitive match when he skippered the side for the first time against Andorra and is set to keep the armband for the trip to Romania.

He added on www.sport1.nl: "To take to the pitch with the armband for the first time was a special feeling. But during the match I did not think about it at all.''

Strootman's elevation to national team captain completed a rapid rise for the player, who just two years ago was relegated from the Eredivisie with Sparta Rotterdam.

"It was so fast, but I have had little time to stand still,'' he said. "The events have followed so quickly. Perhaps the realisation will sink in in a few years.''

Romania can go into the match justifiably confident, though, having yet to concede a goal in the group.

Their opening wins over Estonia and Andorra were expected, but the success in Istanbul against a Turkey side who were predicted to be Holland's main challengers showed their credentials.

But Romania coach Victor Piturca admitted he would be happy with a point from the match.

He told www.onlinesport.ro: "I'd be happy with a draw with Holland. The thing is not to lose. Right now we are in second place (on goal difference), but we intend to win the group.

"We are in good shape and a good position mentally.

"Hopefully all the players are fit and those who had little problems are all right.''

Piturca confirmed, though, that veteran striker Adrian Mutu would not be fully fit.