World Cup - Group D: Romania into play-offs at Turkey's expense

Ciprian Marica scored twice to help Romania secure a World Cup play-off spot with a 2-0 victory over Estonia in their final qualifier at the National Arena in Bucharest.

Eurosport
World Cup - Group D: Romania into play-offs at Turkey's expense
.

View photo

Victor Piturca's men finished second in Group D with 19 points, nine points behind unbeaten Netherlands who ended Turkey's hopes of making the play-offs with a 2-0 win in Istanbul.

Romania broke the deadlock when Stancu was brought down in the penalty area by Estonia defender Mikk Reintam and Marica converted from the spot for his 23rd international goal.

Romania's dominance continued in the second half but had to wait until the 81st minute to make the game safe when Marica gave Pareiko no chance with a brilliant header from a precise Alexandru Matel's right-wing cross.

Turkey suffered World Cup agony after goals by Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder earned Netherlands a 2-0 win in Group D qualifying to end the home team's hopes of reaching next month's play-offs.

Robben put the visitors ahead in the seventh minute, scoring direct from a free-kick out on the right which managed to evade everyone in the penalty area including goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.

Early in the second half it was the Dutch duo who play in Turkey, Dirk Kuyt of Fenerbahce and Galatasaray's Sneijder, who wrecked the home side's hopes.

Substitute Kuyt played Sneijder in from the edge of the area and he went past one player before firing a shot across Demirel and into the net in the 46th minute.

[GROUP D: Final standings]

Hungary’s slim chances of earning a playoff spot were dashed despite a 2-0 win at home to Andorra.

Second half goals from Nemanja Nikolic and Ildefonso Lima ensured they finished third above Turkey but it was scant consolation for the former European giants.

View comments (3)