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Romania result warms Faroes coach's heart

While Faroe Islands coach Lars Olsen took plenty of positives from a 1-0 loss in Romania, match winner Claudiu Keșerü was quick to defend his side's safety-first approach.

Highlights: Romania 1-0 Faroe Islands

Home supporters in Ploiesti voiced their disappointment at full time after Romania could only beat the Faroe Islands 1-0 – with visiting coach Lars Olsen left in the odd position of having to defend the winning side.

"They were the better team and created many more opportunities than us," said Olsen, adding: "I do not agree with the people who say this is a weak Romania team. The Romanians know how to keep possession. They have some very skilful players, such as Lucian Sănmărtean, and they deserved the victory."

The Faroes had won 1-0 in Greece in their previous Group F fixture, yet Olsen was not too disappointed about failing to achieve a second miracle result in a row, this time against the Group F leaders. "We have to face the fact we are a small country," he shrugged. "Our main problem is the final pass, which would allow us to create scoring chances. Don't forget that the free-kick which led to Romania's goal came from a throw-in, so these are also things we can learn from. Another big issue is the tempo of a match at this level – totally different from what we get in the Faroe Islands.

"Generally, though, I'm satisfied with the performance, if not the result," he continued. "What I'm most satisfied with is that we were in the game throughout. We haven't always been able to do that against strong opposition like Romania. That warms my heart because it is something we work for – to close the gap on the higher-ranked teams. We are now doing that."

Romania's 21st-minute marksman Claudiu Keșerü also took positives for the group pacesetters. "I am happy with the win and with the fact I scored," he said, adding of the hosts' muted performance: "It doesn't matter how you win, as long as you win. We created several openings although it's also true that we lacked clarity and concentration in front of goal. However, it was important not to concede – that is also a target which was achieved.

"I don't understand why our fans reacted like that towards the end of the match," the 28-year-old forward continued. "The Faroese had already upset Greece and I am sure they will do something similar again."

That Romania were kept down to one goal owed much to the exploits of Faroese goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen, who was unhappy with the outcome regardless. "We still have ambitions even though we're a small country," he stated. "We prepared for this match in order to win, because this is our mentality. Romania deserved their victory but we were in the game and you can be sure that we'll get more points in the future. Right now I am disappointed."