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Romania and Albania make the cut

Albania secured a goalless draw against Finland to progress from qualifying round Group 1 along with Romania who finished top of the section with a perfect record.

The 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship will be held in Malta
The 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship will be held in Malta ©Marko Djurić

Romania and Albania are through to the 2013/14 UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round after filling the top two berths in qualifying round Group 1 today.

Going into the third and final day of matches, Romania led mini-tournament hosts Albania and Belarus by three points. Constantin Gâlcă's side promptly rubber-stamped their place at the top of the section with a 2-0 success against Belarus, Alexandru Stoica and Mihai Manea the scorers. That meant Albania's goalless draw with Finland – who finished bottom – was enough to secure second spot by a point.

Both opening games on Friday had ended 1-0. Belarus had goalkeeper Artyom Beliy sent off after 42 minutes against Finland but still won thanks to Artyom Vasilyev's 67th-minute goal, while Virgil-Andrei Ivan gave Romania victory over Albania.

The home team, however, bounced back to defeat Belarus 2-1 on Sunday courtesy of a Franc Bakalli strike five minutes into added time, the substitute making up for captain Keidi Bare's penalty miss just past the hour. Romania moved clear in the standings as Ivan scored four minutes from time to see off Finland 1-0.

Romania then maintained their perfect record on Wednesday, with Albania doing enough to join them in the next phase of qualification, denying Belarus in the process.