Group Stage 2016
  • Alexander Ring (57')
  • Bogdan Stancu (54', 83')

Bogdan Stancu notches two goals to lift Romania past Finland

Romania remained unbeaten in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and moved up to second in Group F as Bogdan Stancu's second-half goals handed 10-man Finland their first defeat.

Both sides entered the clash at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium with four points after their opening two games, but Genclerbirligi striker Stancu's goals after 54 and 83 minutes ensured the visitors claimed a 2-0 win on Wednesday.

Following a first half where neither side pushed the tempo and chances were limited to long-distance strikes, the game erupted into life nine minutes after the interval as Stancu was able to rise highest to head home Lucian Sanmartean's corner from the left.

Romania's hopes of victory were given a further boost when Finland were reduced to 10 men after Alexander Ring, who was booked shortly before the opener, was given his marching orders in the 57th minute after a rough challenge on Sanmartean.

Victor Piturca's men pushed forward in an effort to kill the game off, with Finland offered precious little going forward, and the visitors were rewarded seven minutes from time.

Once again, Sanmartean was the provider as he laid off Stancu to side-foot into the net.

That gave Romania some breathing room and they were not stretched in the closing stages as they sealed an impressive win over their group rivals.

Only Northern Ireland, on nine points after maintaining their 100 per cent winning record away to Greece, lie above Romania now, with the two teams meeting at the Arena Nationala next month.