ROTTERDAM, March 24 (Euro 2008 Qualifying) - Holland and Romania maintained their unbeaten records in Group G with an uninspiring goalless draw in Rotterdam.
The result keeps Marco van Basten's side three points clear of Romania at the
summit of the group, but they have played a game more than their opponents.
Van Basten was able to call upon the services of Arjen Robben, who had
recovered from a knee injury, and the Chelsea man partnered sought-after Ajax
striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in attack.
But it was the visitors who looked most threatening in the early stages and
they twice went close to opening the scoring.
Firstly, Dorin Goian's header from the edge of the penalty area arrowed
narrowly past the post, while Ciprian Marica saw his crisp drive from 15 yards
tipped around the post by Maarten Stekelenburg, who replaced the injured Edwin
van der Sar in goal.
Romania were dominant in the opening 10 minutes and they went close again when
Adrian Mutu's powerful long-range drive was well saved by the athletic
It was all Romania and only a smart save from Stekelenburg denied Goian giving
his side the lead their enterprising play deserved after 20 minutes.
The pressure from Romania was relentless and both Paul Codrea and Marica saw
efforts fly just past Stekelenburg's post as they tried in vain to find the
opening goal of the game.
Holland had to wait until seven minutes before the break for their first real
sight of goal and it came from the left boot of midfielder Rafael van der
The Hamburg player unleashed a stinging drive from 20 yards that was well
saved by Romania goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont, but, in truth, Holland's limp
first-half display did not deserve a goal.
Romania started the second half in the same fashion they had begun the first
and Fiorentina striker Mutu saw his fierce strike from the edge of the penalty
area fly narrowly over Stekelenburg's crossbar.
Holland threatened through Robben and Giovanni van Bronckhorst in the second
half, but they were unable to find a way past a solid Romania backline which was
expertly marshalled by Goian.