Within 72 hours of Romania's senior side slumping to a 3-0 defeat by Lithuania on home soil, their Under-21 team lost their 18-match unbeaten run to a triumphant Wales in Iasi and failed to qualify for the play-offs.
Both sides had 15 points from seven matches and went into the game knowing France, one point further back, were ready to take advantage of any slip. In the event, Wales did not have to worry about a pile-up at the top of Group 10, as strikes from Rhys Williams, Simon Church and Rhoys Wiggins helped them overtake Romania – whose goal difference had been better – and win the section. France, 1-0 victors in Bosnia-Herzegovina, finished second to qualify as one of the best runners-up.
Romania started well but, as with their older equivalents on Saturday, the concession of the first goal changed the course of the match. In the 15th minute Wales opened the scoring when Williams volleyed in following a corner. From that moment, the British visitors played more intelligently and profited from a lack of invention and creativity from the hosts. Only twice in the first half did Romania threaten a goal but Claudiu Keseru and Bogdan Stancu both failed to register.
The vital second score came after 57 minutes when another Welsh corner caused trouble in Romania's defence and Church was left with a simple finish beyond goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu. The locals then missed three presentable chances in five minutes, with Stancu twice, and Keseru being wasteful. And the difference in the striking department became even clearer with 20 minutes left when Tatarusanu saved Church's powerful effort, only for Wiggins to follow up and complete the victory. Romania's play-off ambitions were dead.