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Strong second half key for Romania

Romania captain Răzvan Raţ – winning his 100th cap – and coach Victor Piturca believed the visitors' improvement after the interval was the decisive factor in Finland.

Highlights: Finland v Romania

Bogdan Stancu's double (54, 83) seals points for Romania in Helsinki
Romania captain Răzvan Raţ "honoured" to collect 100th cap
Victorious coach Victor Piturca points to second-half improvement
Mixu Paatelainen believes Finland "are still in the race" in Group F
Next games: Hungary v Finland, Romania v Northern Ireland (14 November)

Răzvan Raţ, Romania captain
The first half was difficult for us; we played against a team that really put us in trouble. We did not quite know how to approach it and defend properly. In the second half things changed, though. We scored a quick goal and after Finland got the red card, the game was much easier for us.

It's been a good start to the campaign, seven points – especially six from away games. It's always important to be able to get points away from home. We had big expectations ahead of the last game against Hungary at home, but dropped two points in the last five minutes. We now kind of got those lost points back, so this was a really important win. The start is good for us, but there are still several games to be played and in football you never know what will happen.

A hundred games is a big amount and I am honoured to have been able to play for the national team for such a long time. A big number, yes, but I still want and hope to play more games.

Victor Piturca, Romania coach
Before this match I said that we were playing against good opponents. In the first half Finland played better and we had to defend. In the second half Finland got tired and we managed to score and then got a second goal. Our aim was to win this match and we did that. I'm happy.

Mixu Paatelainen, Finland coach
I think we were the better team for most of the match, but it wasn't enough. One mistake was costly for us today [Alexander Ring's red card]; it's always difficult to play with ten men. That red card and one good corner from Romania were turning points.

We are still in the race. Our next match is in Hungary in November. I do not say it is a must win, because it is still early days in this qualifying campaign. But of course it would be nice to get three points.

Niklas Moisander, Finland captain
This result was a big disappointment for us, there is no reason to deny that. I would not say Romania surprised in any way. Like on Saturday against Greece, the picture of the game was very much as expected and Romania played pretty much the way we expected them to. We knew what we should do.

In the first half our tactics worked quite OK and at half-time we said we had to be patient in the second half; one chance could have been enough as long as we kept it tight at the other end. Instead Romania scored and that made it much more difficult. It was disappointing to concede from a corner so early in the second half. Of course the red card then made it extra difficult and we could not rise any more.

We now just have to get through this game and then prepare as well as we can for the away game in Hungary next month. We have seen already that there will be surprise results in this group and we have lost nothing. It is clear, however, that we now need wins from our next few games.