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Euro 2024: Romania, Slovakia finish in a draw; both move to last 16

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Euro 2024: Romania, Slovakia finish in a draw; both move to last 16
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Frankfurt: In their Group E match for UEFA Euro 2024, Slovakia and Romania drew 1-1. Both teams advanced to the round of 16, with Romania winning the group and Slovakia finishing in third. Ondrej Duda's goal for Slovakia was cancelled out by a penalty kick by Razvan Marin, and both teams advanced.

All four teams in Group E finished with four points with a win, a draw and a loss each. Romania finished first with a goal difference of 1, the same as Belgium (Romania scored four goals to two by the Red Devils). Slovakia finished third as they had a better goal difference of 0 as compared to -2 of Ukraine, IANS reported.

Slovakia started on the front foot, pressing high up the pitch and giving the Romania backline a tough time. Juraj Kucka had the first sniff of a chance with a header and moments later Dávid Hancko's shot flew over the bar.

Romania swiftly responded, their first effort on target coming from Andrei Rațiu's curler, brilliantly saved by Martin Dúbravka. Francesco Calzona's men then produced their best opportunity yet, a Duda free-kick that sailed narrowly wide. Within a minute, however, the Slovakia midfielder found the back of the net with a perfect header.

Romania's reaction was another Rațiu strike, again blocked by Dubravka. Parity was restored soon after, though, following a penalty award to Romania for a foul on Ianis Hagi. Răzvan Marin provided the emphatic conversion.

The game continued to ebb and flow. Lukas Haraslin broke from the left but Florin Nița stopped his shot. Next, that man Marin let fly from the edge of the box, only for Dubravka to repel his attempt.

David Strelec also had his chance, Nița being well positioned to save, and Slovakia came again with a Haraslin curler that soared just wide of the target. No matter: a point apiece served to send both sides into the Round of 16, with Romania writing history by winning an EURO group for the first time and the Slovaks finishing third on the same four-point total.

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TAGS:Euro 2024
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