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Romania vs. Greece: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - NOVEMBER 19:  Players of Greece celebrate winning their play-off match during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Play-off Second Leg match between Romania and Greece at the National Arena on November 19, 2013 in Bucharest, Romania.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 19, 2013

Greece is through to the 2014 World Cup after a 1-1 draw in Bucharest gave the team a 4-2 win on aggregate over Romania:

Kostas Mitroglou provided Greece's score on the day, and as it turned out, Greece didn't need to score to punch its ticket to Brazil. In both legs, Romania had a tough time earning quality looks, and it needed at least two goals on Wednesday to have any hope of advancing.

Two goals was too much to ask for from the home side, and that was apparent early.    

If Romania was going to battle back from the 3-1 deficit in aggregate, a strong opening was needed.    

Romania was too tentative in the first half. It did a good job to control 66 percent of possession in the first, but it mustered just five shots and one on goal out of that. 

Meanwhile, as it was in the first leg, Greece was the far more opportunistic side. In the 23rd minute, Mitroglou slid one past Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu to all but end Romania's hopes. 

The 1-0 score held up until halftime:

In the second half, perhaps Greece's Vasilis Torosidis felt bad for Romania or maybe he just missed the pressure atmosphere. Whatever the case, he blasted a beautiful shot into the upper corner of the goal. It happened to be in his own goal:  

This cut Greece's aggregate lead to two goals in the 55th minute of the match. That left Romania with a lot of work to do in not much time. It was vital for Romania to try to seize momentum, but it was unable to. 

Romania was more aggressive in the second half, but Greece was loading up the back and not allowing any easy looks—except when it was shooting on its own goal. 

In all, Romania fired off 11 shots, but just three of those were on goal.  

Romania Player Grades
Starters
PlayerGrade
Ciprian TatarusanuB-
Alexandru MatelC
Razvan Dinca RatC
Vlad ChirichesB-
Dorin GoianC-
Ovidiu HobanB+
Cristian TanaseB
Gabriel TorjeB-
Bogdan StancuA
Alexandru MaximC
Ciprian MaricaC-
Substitutes
PlayerGrade
Iasmin LatovleviciB+
Gicu GrozavC-
Marius NiculaeB
Starters and substitutes via ESPN
Greece Player Grades
Starters
PlayerGrade
Orestis KarnezisA
Dimitrios SiovasB-
Vasilis TorosidisD
Sokratis PapastathopoulosB
Jose HolebasB
Giannis ManiatisB
Alexandros TziolisB+
Giorgos KaragounisB
Georgios SamarasB
Kostas MitroglouA
Dimitris SalpingidisA
Substitutes
PlayerGrade
Kostas ManolasB
Loukas VyntraB
Andreas SamarisB-
Starters and substitutes via ESPN

 

Top Player Grades

Bogdan Stancu:

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 26:  Bogdan Stancu of Romania looks on during the Group 4 FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Netherlands and Romania at Amsterdam Arena on March 26, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Get
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Bogdan Stancu will undoubtedly regret not converting on any of his three shots, but with two of his shots coming on goal, he had 66 percent of his team's on-target efforts. 

Stancu was smart with the ball in this match and tried to give his team what it needed. He simply didn't get enough help from his teammates. 

 

Kostas Mitroglou: A

ATHENS, GREECE - FEBRUARY 06:  Kostas Mitroglou of Greece in action during the International Friendly match between Greece and Switzerland at Karaiskakis Stadium on February 6, 2013 in Athens, Greece.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

It would have been easy for Greece to come out lackadaisical while looking not to lose its lead on aggregate. Mitroglou wasn't going to have it. He was extremely active and aggressive.

He scored the big goal and also drew a foul. He did commit two fouls, but that was just another sign of his aggressiveness.  

 

What's Next

What's next is simple for both sides. Greece will attempt to take this momentum to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Romania, on the other hand, will get a long time to think of ways to improve before the 2018 World Cup. 

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