Dacia 1-1 Republic of Ireland Stubborn Dacia survive an Irish onslaught in Proszowice to claim a point.
Dacia held on for a point as they drew 1-1 with the Republic of Ireland in their opening Group B game in Proszowice.
In an exciting encounter, it seemed that the Irish side's aggressive, powerful style would prevail but the crafty Romanians weathered a second-half storm to claim their first point in the UEFA Regions' Cup after taking the lead in the 17th minute.
A frenzied opening spell set the tone for an exciting game. The Irish nearly took the lead as a ninth-minute header gave Anthony Doyle a chance. However, his shot was blocked on the line, and within eight minutes, his side were a goal behind as an enterprising piece of play led to Dacia's opening.
Defender Alin Chiliman delicately chipped the ball into the box where it found Cristian Gabri Cojenel, who demonstrated impressive skill and touches throughout the match. The midfield player skilfully lobbed the ball over the Irish goalkeeper allowing Fanel Ghioca to head into an empty net.
However, the Romanian side's lead was to be short-lived as Ireland restored parity after 24 minutes. Forward John O'Neill's shot was deflected on to the post but fell kindly for Sean O'Conner - Ireland's most potent threat from midfield. He made no mistake as he blasted the ball into Dacia's net.
Then it was the turn of Dacia goalkeeper Petre Baluta to shine. With the Irish increasingly dominant, he pulled off a series of saves, denying Ruairi Beechinor minutes before making a fine save as he went one-on-one with Keith Bruen. The loose ball fell to O'Neill, but once more the Dacia custodian was equal to his effort.
The second half brought little relief for Baluta as he was forced to save an O'Connor shot after 47 minutes, and he impressed again after 75 minutes. Ian Cherry's pass teed up Raymond Whelehan nicely for a fierce volley which drew an equally fantastic save out of the goalkeeper. It was to be the last truly dangerous chance of the match as the Romanians managed to cling on in the face of an Irish onslaught to claim the draw.