The official website for European football

Mutu at the double as Romania sink Luxembourg

Published: Tuesday 29 March 2011, 21.45CET
Romania 3-1 Luxembourg
Adrian Mutu's first international goals since 2008 helped Romania seal a crucial victory that keeps alive their hopes of qualifying from Group D.
by Paul Zaharia
from Piatra Neamt
Mutu at the double as Romania sink Luxembourg
Ianis Zicu is embraced by fellow scorer Adrian Mutu (right) after netting against Luxembourg ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 29 March 2011, 21.45CET

Mutu at the double as Romania sink Luxembourg

Romania 3-1 Luxembourg
Adrian Mutu's first international goals since 2008 helped Romania seal a crucial victory that keeps alive their hopes of qualifying from Group D.

Romania kept their slim hopes of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012 alive by surviving a first-half scare and coming from behind to beat Luxembourg.

It has been a disappointing start to their qualifying campaign for Romania, and home coach Razvan Lucescu must have feared the worst when his side fell behind to Lars Gerson's opening goal midway through the first half. Parity, however, was restored within two minutes by Adrian Mutu, who scored again on 68 minutes before Ianis Zicu made sure of the home win 12 minutes from time.

Romania's sluggish start was epitomised by their insistence on using the long ball, rather than the creativity of Mutu, whose appearance in the 2-1 defeat by Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday was his first international outing since June 2008. That defeat made this a must-win match for the hosts, but their task became all the more difficult when, in the 22nd minute, Aurélien Joachim deflected René Peters' free-kick from the left into the path of Gerson, who accepted the invitation to score.

Luxembourg's lead did not last long, however. Just 120 seconds later in fact, the match was all square as Mutu latched on to Ciprian Marica's delightful pass to score his first goal since registering at UEFA EURO 2008 against Italy. With Luc Holtz's side sitting back and looking to catch their opponents on the break, the onus was on the home team to make the running but they were frustrated by their visitors until Mutu struck again.

The 32-year-old was unlucky not to score with a fine volley that whistled just wide on 58 minutes but the ACF Fiorentina forward did not have long to wait for his 31st international goal on his 69th appearance, beating Jonathan Joubert with a fine header from substitute Gabriel Torje's right-wing cross. Ten minutes later it was 3-1, again from a header, as Zicu reacted first from close range to a poor headed clearance. Romania's win leaves them fifth in the section with five points, seven adrift of leaders France and three behind second-placed Belarus.

Last updated: 30/03/11 0.11CET

Related information

Player profiles
Related match
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=1515979.html#mutu+double+romania+sink+luxembourg

UEFA.com features

Pick of the week: matchday one
  • Pick of the week: matchday one
  • What teams need to get through
  • Watch the five best acrobatic Champions League goals
  • Ones to watch in the group stage
  • Masterclass: Xavi on passing and control
  • Newcomers ready for Champions League debuts
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Berezovski and Frick join Europe's 40-somethings
  • Europe's all-time top international goalscorers
  • Introducing football in Gibraltar ...
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.