Romania came out on top in UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round Group 9, Lithuania edging Armenia for second place in a tense section whose six games produced only nine goals.
There was little between the four teams in the first two rounds of matches, with both the opening fixtures ending 1-1. Romania survived Robert Boboc's 54th-minute red card to hold on for a point against Armenia, while last season's finals hosts Lithuania held Poland despite being pegged back by Przemysław Frankowski's second-half strike.
Lithuania had no answer to Ionuț Vina's goal in the second round of matches, however, the 52nd-minute effort giving Romania a 1-0 win in Grudziadz. It was the same score in Tuchola, Armenia getting the better of Poland thanks to Vardan Bakalyan's 75th-minute goal.
The 2011 hosts, Romania made sure of their place in the elite round with another 1-1 draw, against Poland, Mihai Balasa giving Romania a fourth-minute lead and Stefan Iovan's side holding on despite Paweł Stolarski's 35th-minute equaliser and a red card for Vlad Marin deep in added time. Lithuania therefore earned an elite round return at Armenia's expense as Simonas Stankevičius scored the only goal in Tuchola after 15 minutes.
"This was a very equal group; you can see that from all the draws," said Iovan. "All the players were at a good level and I'm really happy we made it to the elite round. The most difficult match was the last one, because we faced the hosts with a lot of pressure on the result and qualification. We'll start our elite round preparations in January and we're hoping to go through to the final tournament."
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