Romania will host Greece on Nov. 19 in the second and final leg of their playoff for a trip to the 2014 World Cup. That's the good news for Romania. The bad news is that it trails 3-1 on aggregate.
On Nov. 15, Greece used a brace from Konstantinos Mitroglou to pull out the decisive victory and earn this favorable position.
There is hope for Romania to make up the two-goal deficit, and that goes beyond enjoying playing in front of home fans at the National Arena.
In the first leg, Romania controlled 55 percent of possession. This match, it will need to be more aggressive with the ball to push for scores.
In the opening match, Romania fired off seven shots with just one on goal. Obviously, that is not going to cut it if Romania wants to advance.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 2:45 p.m. ET/7:45 p.m. GMT
Where: National Arena, Bucharest, Romania
TV Coverage: ESPN2 Caribbean—more international coverage information here.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Odds (according to Bovada)
Top Storyline: Can Romania Battle Back?
If Romania can win 2-0, it will advance on the strength of its one away goal. However, considering that Greece netted three in the first one and hasn't been shut out since a Feb. 6 affair against Switzerland, that score seems unlikely.
However, Romania did post a clean sheet in each of its past four World Cup qualifying matches.
As difficult as the task of shutting out Greece sounds, that score appears to be Romania's best path to victory. Greece hasn't allowed three or more goals in a match since falling 3-1 to Bosnia-Herzegovina in March of 2012.
More than that, Romania's performance in the first leg does not inspire a lot of confidence that this team will be able to get to three goals in this match.
Prediction: Romania 1, Greece 1
Romania will come out strong in this match, and I expect a more focused offensive effort. This will lead to one goal in the first half and a glimmer of hope. However, Greece will wear Romania out and in the end blacken that glimmer with a counter-strike in the second half.