European Championship Qualifying - Group F
Romania2Northern Ireland0

Romania 2-0 N Ireland

Ryan McGivern and Alexandru Chipciu in action as Northern Ireland go down in Bucharest
Ryan McGivern and Alexandru Chipciu in action as Northern Ireland go down in Bucharest
  • Northern Ireland suffer first qualifying defeat
  • Romania move one point clear at top of group
  • First Euro qualifier between the sides
  • Papp makes it five goals in 13 internationals

Northern Ireland's three-game winning run in their Euro 2016 qualifiers ended as Romania won in Bucharest to go top of Group F.

Full-back Paul Papp scored both goals, firing into the top corner in the 73rd minute and stealing in to convert a back-post header.

Chris Brunt went close early on but Alexandru Chipciu hit the bar and Bogdan Stancu missed from close range.

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O'Neill unbowed after loss in Romania

Northern Ireland slipped to second in the group, one point behind Romania.

Romania began the first European Championship qualifying meeting between the sides hoping to avoid a repeat of their only previous competitive home match with Northern Ireland, a World Cup qualifier in October, 1985, which they lost 1-0.

Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland went into the game full of confidence but without several injured players, including skipper Steven Davis.

Anghel Iordanescu was beginning his third spell as Romania coach following the departure of Victor Piturca, who left to take up a lucrative deal with Saudi Arabian side Ittihad last month.

The hosts, also without several first-choice regulars, began brightly and a bicycle kick by out-of-favour Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches was gathered by Roy Carroll.

Northern Ireland's remaining Euro 2016 Group F qualifiers
Finland (home)Sunday, 29 March 2015
Romania (home)Saturday, 13 June 2015
Faroe Islands (away)Friday, 4 September 2015
Hungary (home)Monday, 7 September 2015
Greece (home)Thursday, 8 October 2015
Finland (away)Sunday, 11 October 2015

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NI not too despondent - McAuley

A minute later Brunt's low left-foot shot went just wide of the left-hand post, before Chipciu shot against the underside of the bar and then headed straight at Carroll.

With Romania assuming control, Lucian Sanmartaen picked up the ball on the halfway line and waltzed through the visitors' defence, only for Stancuto to lose his footing with the goal gaping.

Kyle Lafferty had a shot palmed away by Ciprian Tatarusanu and, after the break, Carroll stood up well to deny Romania captain Razvan Rat.

Northern Ireland were finally broken down when Papp drove a left-footed shot into the top right-hand corner after Gareth McAuley failed to clear a cross, and the right-back sealed victory six minutes later when he met a left-wing cross.

Hungary beat Finland 1-0 to move third in the group, two points behind Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland's next game is against Finland at Windsor Park on 29 March, when Romania entertain the Faroe Islands.

Gareth McAuley
Gareth McAuley was named Northern Ireland captain for the game in Bucharest after Steven Davis was ruled out
Northern Ireland fans travelled to Bucharest in numbers
Northern Ireland fans travelled to Bucharest despite initial fears that the game would be played behind closed doors
Paul Papp and Chris Brunt
Paul Papp challenges Chris Brunt, who missed a good early chance for Northern Ireland
Paul Papp scored twice in the space of six minutes to secure victory for the Romanians
Paul Papp scored twice in the space of five minutes to secure victory for the Romanians

Line-ups

Romania

  • 12Tatarusanu
  • 2Papp
  • 6Chiriches
  • 21Grigore
  • 3Rat
  • 8PintiliiBooked at 47mins
  • 17Sanmartean
  • 11TorjeSubstituted forHobanat 81'minutes
  • 7ChipciuBooked at 75mins
  • 10TanaseSubstituted forMaximat 58'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 9StancuSubstituted forKeseruat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 4Luchin
  • 5Hoban
  • 13Keseru
  • 14Bicfalvi
  • 15Moti
  • 16Gardos
  • 18Prepelita
  • 19Puscas
  • 20Maxim
  • 22Sepsi
  • 23Lung Jr.

Northern Ireland

  • 1Carroll
  • 2McLaughlinBooked at 45mins
  • 4McAuley
  • 18Hughes
  • 3McGivern
  • 6Baird
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forClinganat 63'minutes
  • 13EvansSubstituted forMckayat 79'minutes
  • 16Norwood
  • 11Brunt
  • 10LaffertyBooked at 52mins

Substitutes

  • 5McCullough
  • 8Clingan
  • 9Mckay
  • 12Mannus
  • 15McCourt
  • 17McNair
  • 19Grigg
  • 20Cathcart
  • 21Magennis
  • 22Reeves
  • 23McGovern
Referee:
Jonas Eriksson

Match Stats

Home TeamRomaniaAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Romania 2, Northern Ireland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Romania 2, Northern Ireland 0.

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Billy McKay.

Attempt missed. Claudiu Keseru (Romania) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lucian Sanmartean.

Corner, Romania. Conceded by Ryan McGivern.

Foul by Alexandru Maxim (Romania).

Aaron Hughes (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Romania. Ovidiu Hoban replaces Gabriel Torje.

Goal!

Goal! Romania 2, Northern Ireland 0. Paul Papp (Romania) header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucian Sanmartean with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Billy McKay replaces Corry Evans.

Booking

Alexandru Maxim (Romania) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Alexandru Maxim (Romania).

Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Lucian Sanmartean (Romania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Chris Baird (Northern Ireland).

Goal!

Goal! Romania 1, Northern Ireland 0. Paul Papp (Romania) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

Corner, Romania. Conceded by Conor McLaughlin.

Corner, Romania. Conceded by Chris Brunt.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Lucian Sanmartean (Romania).

Sammy Clingan (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Sammy Clingan replaces Niall McGinn.

Foul by Vlad Chiriches (Romania).

Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Romania. Conceded by Chris Brunt.

Razvan Rat (Romania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Romania. Alexandru Maxim replaces Cristian Tanase.

Attempt missed. Claudiu Keseru (Romania) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Paul Papp with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Cristian Tanase (Romania) because of an injury.

Vlad Chiriches (Romania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland).

Attempt saved. Razvan Rat (Romania) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Claudiu Keseru with a through ball.

Booking

Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Dragos Grigore (Romania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland).

goal

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