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Romania win ends Northern Ireland's perfect start

Romania 2-0 Northern Ireland
Paul Papp scored both goals as the hosts ended the 100% record of Michael O'Neill's side to move top of Group F.

Highlights: Romania v Northern Ireland

Paul Papp's second-half double puts Romania top of Group F 
Hosts end Northern Ireland's perfect start to qualifying
• Lucian Sânmărtean impresses for home side and sets up second
• Anghel Iordanescu wins first game back in charge of hosts
Next games: Romania v Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland v Finland (29 March)

Paul Papp scored two goals in rapid succession in the second half as Romania ended Northern Ireland's perfect start to UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F and moved top of the section.

Knowing a win would put them in pole position, the hosts began at top speed and refused to relent, driven on by the impressive Lucian Sânmărtean. They could have been ahead by the interval but Roy Carroll did well to stop a spectacular bicycle kick from Vlad Chiricheş before Alexandru Chipciu sent a delicate flick onto the crossbar with the outside of his boot. Bogdan Stancu then failed to turn in from close range after what looked an ideal cross from Sânmărtean.

The guests accepted Romania's domination and tried their luck on the counter, twice getting behind the home defence. Chris Brunt shot narrowly wide from an angle in the 16th minute and Kyle Lafferty's effort worked from a short corner on the stroke of half-time did not prove strong enough to find a way past Ciprian Tătăruşanu.

After the restart, home captain Răzvan Raț was denied by Carroll, yet the breakthrough eventually arrived in the 74th minute when defender Papp met a Rat cross from the left and drove into the net. The game was wrapped up with 11 minutes to go, this time Sănmărtean providing the assist, laying on a perfect ball from wide for Papp to net his second and put Anghel Iordanescu's men in charge of the group.