Play-offs within sight for Romania

Romania 3-0 Russia
Eric Bicfalvi scored one goal and played a role in the other two as Romania took a potentially decisive hold on Group 1.

Romania are in pole position to qualify for the play-offs with one match remaining
Romania are in pole position to qualify for the play-offs with one match remaining ©Edy Pintea

Romania took a significant step towards a place in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs with a comprehensive defeat of Group 1 rivals Russia.

Level with their opponents on 21 points at the top of the section, Romania took a stranglehold on the game – and the pool – thanks to goals before the break from Eric Bicfalvi and Sabrin Sburlea. Substitute Ioan Hora added what could be a crucial third four minutes from time, meaning Emil Sandoi's team will be assured of a play-off berth should they avoid defeat by three goals or more when the sides meet again in their final match on Tuesday in St Petersburg.

Bicfalvi opened the scoring on 27 minutes with a powerful shot from the edge of the area following Mihai Costea's corner and played a part in the second ten minutes later. The FC Steaua Bucureşti midfielder's incisive pass found Ionut Neagu, who in turn set up Sburlea for a straightforward finish. Hora put the seal on an impressive result and performance late on courtesy of another Bicfalvi assist.