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Dragun saves Belarus from Romania reverse

Published: Friday 7 October 2011, 23.45CET
Romania 2-2 Belarus
Belarus seemed to be signing off in Group D on a losing note until Stanislav Dragun equalised with eight minutes left in Bucharest.
Dragun saves Belarus from Romania reverse
Stanislav Dragun (right) gets to grips with Romania's Adrian Cristea ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 7 October 2011, 23.45CET

Dragun saves Belarus from Romania reverse

Romania 2-2 Belarus
Belarus seemed to be signing off in Group D on a losing note until Stanislav Dragun equalised with eight minutes left in Bucharest.

Stanislav Dragun ensured Belarus's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign finished on a positive note with an 82nd-minute equaliser against Romania.

Adrian Mutu became the first Romania player to score at the new National Arena in Bucharest when he gave Victor Piţurcă's men a 20th-minute lead. Sergei Kornilenko equalised on the cusp of half-time, but, within six minutes of the restart, Mutu restored the hosts' lead from the spot for his 34th goal in 71 internationals. Dragun's leveller then denied Romania, who are certain to finish third, a fourth win in five Group D matches.

After Mutu had tapped Romania ahead from Gabriel Torje's assist, Ciprian Marica squandered an opportunity to double his team's lead when he chose to pass from close range having weaved his way into the penalty area. Heavily involved, Marica then teed up Mutu for a shot which was blocked by Yuri Zhevnov, before himself being denied by the goalkeeper.

Romania's failure to take those opportunities initially proved costly when Kornilenko seized on an error by Cosmin Moți, yet they were soon back in the ascendancy as Mutu, after being fouled by Dmitri Verkhovtsov, tucked away a 51st-minute penalty.

Belarus continued to pose a threat, however, and were swiftly denied a second equaliser when Costel Pantilimon thwarted Sergei Krivets. On a hat-trick, Mutu chanced his luck with an overhead kick, but it was Belarus who had the last word, Dragun finishing off a counterattack with eight minutes remaining. Piţurcă's team conclude their campaign in Albania on Tuesday.

Last updated: 08/10/11 18.27CET

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