Two goals in three minutes from Martin Petrov earned Bulgaria an unlikely point in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group G as the visitors came from two down in Romania to level in the closing stages.
Strikes either side of half-time from Laurentiu Rosu and Ciprian Marica had given the home team a lead they never looked like relinquishing until Petrov's dramatic intervention in the last ten minutes. Romania's discomfort was compounded as Gabriel Tamas was dismissed in added time for a second bookable offence. Romania will hope to respond to this disappointment when they visit Albania on Wednesday while their opponents are likely to be in buoyant mood as they take on Slovenia the same day.
Romania had begun brightly with Rosu shooting fractionally over in the tenth minute and wide shortly afterwards as the hosts signalled their intent. Adrian Mutu also missed the target in the opening quarter-hour and, although the Romanians had to wait for the breakthrough, it finally arrived five minutes before the interval when Rosu netted with a well-directed drive from the edge of the area. The hosts continued to press forward as the second half got under way, Florentin Petre and Marica both firing over before the latter slotted a left-footed shot past Georgi Petkov in the 55th minute to make it 2-0.
That seemed to have secured victory for Victor Piturca's men, yet the match was back in the balance eight minutes from time when Petrov found a way past Bogdan Lobont. The Club Atlético de Madrid midfielder then completed an improbable recovery two minutes later by latching on to Elin Topuzakov's cross from the left to beat Lobont and revive his side's spirits while leaving Romania wondering what might have been.