Romania back in business with Ireland scalp

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Romania
Martin Madalin's second-half strike in Sligo proved sufficient to steer the visitors to their first victory in qualifying Group 6.

Romania are up to third in Group 6
Romania are up to third in Group 6 ©Roman Koksharov

Romania arrested a sequence of three UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying games without success by beating the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Group 6.

The visitors to Sligo, who had been held to a goalless draw by the same opposition on Friday, rediscovered their goalscoring touch nine minutes after the interval courtesy of Martin Madalin. The result lifts Bogdan Stelea's team into third, a point behind second-placed Montenegro.

The contest was five minutes old when Madalin took receipt of Mihai Roman's pass and fired narrowly wide from inside the area. It was not until the second half that Romania found their rhythm, though, captain Stefan Popescu dashing through the middle and forcing a fine save from goalkeeper Aaron McCarey.

The breakthrough arrived four minutes later, Madalin finding the net with a venomous long-range effort that gave McCarey no chance. The away side then weathered a late storm to consign Ireland to a second defeat in their last three outings.