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France v Romania facts

France have never lost in eight previous U21 EURO games against Romania as they meet to decide the Group C winners.

George Puşcaş celebrates Romania's matchday two defeat of England
George Puşcaş celebrates Romania's matchday two defeat of England ©Getty Images

France's unbeaten UEFA European Under-21 Championship record against Romania should have them in good heart for the teams' ninth meeting, in the final round of Group C games in Cesena.

• The teams are locked together on six points having both won their opening two fixtures. France beat England 2-1 and Croatia 1-0; Romania put four goals past both Croatia (4-1) and England (4-2).

• France must win to go through as group winners, but are also certain of qualifying for the semi-finals as best runners-up if they draw. They could still claim that berth if they lose.

• Romania will top the group with a win or – thanks to their superior overall goal difference – a draw against France. They would be relying on finishing as best runners-up if beaten.

Highlights: England 2-4 Romania

Previous meetings
• France have won four of the sides' eight competitive fixtures, including the two most recent – 2-0 away and 3-0 at home in autumn 2011, although neither team reached the 2013 final tournament. Alexandre Lacazette was on target in the game in Nantes.

• Both games were drawn in qualifying for the 1996 and 2009 finals; indeed, three of those four fixtures ended goalless.

• The teams were paired in the play-offs for the 2002 final tournament, France winning 1-0 away and 4-0 at home in November 2011 with Olivier Sorlin and Djibril Cissé both scoring twice in the latter fixture.

• Romania have therefore scored one goal in their eight competitive fixtures with France, conceding 11.

• Virgil Ghiță, Andrei Ciobanu, Ianis Hagi and Florinel Coman were in the Romania side beaten 3-1 by France in a U17 friendly in Clairefontaine on 17 December 2014. Kelvin Amian and Houssem Aouar were half-time substitutes for the home team.

• A Romania side featuring Cătălin Căbuz were beaten 2-0 in a U17 friendly by France on 1 November 2012; George Pușcaș was a half-time substitute, having played all 80 minutes of a 1-0 France win two days earlier.

Highlights: France 1-0 Croatia

Form guide
• France have not featured in the final tournament since 2006, when they lost 3-2 after extra time to eventual champions the Netherlands in the semi-finals. This is just their third appearance in an eight or 12-team finals; they finished as runners-up on the other occasion, in 2002.

• Champions in 1988, France finished third in 1996 and fourth two years earlier, also reaching the quarter-finals in 1982, 1984 and 1986.

• Since reaching the 2006 finals, four of France's six U21 campaigns have ended in the play-offs – in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015. They finished second behind North Macedonia in their 2017 qualifying section.

Dembélé confident as France move towards 'common goal'

• This time round, Sylvain Ripoll's team won their first nine fixtures, drawing the last 1-1 at home to Slovenia, to win qualifying Group 9 by 12 points. They qualified with two games to spare, their final tally of 28 points the highest recorded by any team.

• The draw with Slovenia ended France's 11-match winning run in competitive internationals, going back to a 1-0 loss in Ukraine in September 2016. That is France's sole defeat in their last 21 European U21 Championship matches (W17 D3).

• France have won all eight of their group games in the U21 finals, recording three victories in both 2002 and 2006 before their two successes at this tournament.

• Dayot Upamecano, Jeff Reine-Adélaïde and Jonathan Ikoné were all in the France squad that won 2015 U17 EURO.

• Paul Bernardoni, Lucas Tousart and Marcus Thuram were all members of France's 2016 European U19 Championship-winning squad, Tousart scoring in the 4-0 final victory against Italy.

Hagi on 'incredible night' for Romania

• Romania are appearing in the final tournament for only the second time, and the first in 21 years; they lost to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 1998 tournament, which Romania hosted.

• Romania lost all three games at those 1998 finals; they were subsequently beaten by Germany (0-1) and Russia (1-2) to finish in eighth place.

• Since that appearance 21 years ago, Romania have reached the play-offs twice, losing over two legs to France (0-5) ahead of the 2002 finals and England (1-2) in 2011 qualifying.

• This time round, however, Romania were one of five teams to qualify unbeaten (W7 D3), with their four goals against the joint lowest total along with England. They won their final four qualifiers, keeping clean sheets in the last three to make it six overall in the group. They have not lost in this competition since a 2-0 qualifying defeat in Bulgaria on 11 October 2016.

Hagi on Hagi

Links and trivia
• Romania coach Mirel Rădoi played in a 0-0 draw against France at UEFA EURO 2008 in Zurich.

• At 38, Rădoi is the youngest coach at the final tournament – by nine years.

• Ibrahima Konaté opened the scoring during RB Leipzig's 3-1 win against Romania's Universitatea Craiova in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg on 9 August 2018. He also played in the return (1-1) to help the German club win the tie. Alexandru Cicâldău played the 90 minutes of both matches for the Romanian side.

• Puşcaş scored twice in Romania's 4-0 win away to Malta in a UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier on 10 June. Fellow U21 squad members Ionuţ Nedelcearu, Ianis Hagi and Tudor Băluţă were also in the starting XI, with Dennis Man coming on in the second half. Puşcaş was also a starter and Hagi a substitute in a 2-2 draw away to Norway in the same competition three days earlier.