World Cup qualifiers: Romania grabbed second in Group D with 2-0 win over Estonia
Last Updated: October 15, 2013 10:16pm
Romania celebrate Ciprian Marica's opening goal
Romania pipped Turkey to second spot in Group D and a place in the World Cup play-offs by defeating Estonia 2-0 in Bucharest thanks to a brace from Ciprian Marica.
Victor Piturca's side started the final round of qualifiers behind second-placed Turkey on goal difference, but they got the two results they needed on Tuesday evening to claim the runners-up berth.
In their match, Marica's first-half penalty and 81st-minute header earned Romania an expected win over second-bottom Estonia and they also got the helping hand they had been hoping for from group winners Holland, who beat Turkey in Istanbul.
Estonia's chances of getting into the top two had long since evaporated but they were clearly not going to gift Romania the three points and almost took a 23rd-minute lead when Tarmo Kink's long-range effort drew a brilliant save out of Ciprian Tatarusanu.
That let-off appeared to spark Romania into life and they went close themselves soon after through Bogdan Stancu before getting their noses in front in the 31st minute.
Stancu was fouled by Mikk Reintam inside the area and Getafe striker Marica slammed home the resulting penalty to make it 1-0.
Romania looked to increase their advantage before the break and Marica was only denied a second goal by a superb save by Sergei Pareiko, who tipped his shot around the post.
Pareiko denied Romania again in the second half with a fine save to push wide Gheorghe Grozav's 76th-minute volley, and at that stage the nerves might have been starting to build in Bucharest.
However, five minutes later Marica eased the tension when he headed home Alexandru Matel's cross and, with Turkey going down to Holland, Romania could celebrate claiming second spot when the full-time whistle blew.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 15th Oct - Group E
Cyprus0 - 0Albania
Norway1 - 1Iceland
Switzerland1 - 0Slovenia
Tue 15th Oct - Group F
Azerbaijan1 - 1Russia
Israel1 - 1N Ireland
Portugal3 - 0Luxembourg
Tue 15th Oct - Group G
Greece2 - 0Liechtenstein
Lithuania0 - 1Bosnia
Latvia2 - 2Slovakia
Tue 15th Oct - Group D
Hungary2 - 0Andorra
Turkey0 - 2Netherlands
Romania2 - 0Estonia
Tue 15th Oct - Group B
Bulgaria0 - 1Czech Rep
Denmark6 - 0Malta
Italy2 - 2Armenia
Tue 15th Oct - Group A
Serbia5 - 1Macedonia
Scotland2 - 0Croatia
Belgium1 - 1Wales
Tue 15th Oct - Group C
Faroe Islands0 - 3Austria
Rep Ireland3 - 1Kazakhstan
Sweden3 - 5Germany
Tue 15th Oct - Group H
San Marino0 - 8Ukraine
Montenegro2 - 5Moldova
England2 - 0Poland
Tue 15th Oct - Group I
France3 - 0Finland
Spain2 - 0Georgia
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I