World Cup play-off: Romania striker Razvan Cocis confident ahead of Greece date
Last Updated: 15/11/13 7:14pm
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Romania striker Razvan Cocis believes his team-mates have what it takes to crack one of the meanest defences in the business and book their nation's place in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1998.
Romania take on Greece in Athens on Friday in the first of their two-legged play-off to determine which team will go to Brazil next summer and Cocis is well aware of the size of the task ahead.
Greece missed out on an automatic place in Brazil after finishing runners-up to Bosnia in Group G but they emerged with their reputation for strong defence intact after conceding just four goals in their 10 group games.
Cocis told reporters: "This is without doubt the most important and challenging tie of our careers. We really want to get to the World Cup and we will play with all our strength to get there.
"We know Greece's style of play - it is a team that plays defensively and tries to wait for its opponents to make a mistake and capitalise. Our goal is to score in the first game, but even if we draw 0-0 it is a good result for us."
Victor Piturca's side have been hit with a series of blows in the build-up to the game with captain Vlad Chiriches ruled out of the first leg with a nose injury while midfielder Mihai Pintilii was injured on Champions League duty last week.
In addition, regular number one goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu is still struggling to shake off a back injury and new Manchester City No.1 Costel Pantilimon has been called in as a potential replacement.
Piturca said: "Greece are an extremely strong and pragmatic team who play in a remarkable way in order to get results. But we will have our chances and we will go for it."
Greece coach Fernando Santos has emphasised his team's defensive capabilities in the build-up to the first leg and believes his experienced players will hold the key to victory.
Santos said: "We have a lot of experienced players who will know how to win the first match without conceding a goal. The Romanians are an excellent team, but I believe we will be the ones to make it through."
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