1-0, min. 35, Olar. 2-0, min. 87, Carp.
Romania 2-0 Slovakia: Romania wrap up Spanish adventure with a win

Romania 2-0 Slovakia: Romania wrap up Spanish adventure with a win

Slovakia defeated for the second consecutive day

Sophie Lawson
RomaniaPărăluță, Corduneanu (Nagy, min. 75), Bortan (c), Meluță, Ficzay, Giurgiu (Indrei, min. 69), Vătafu, Olar (Ciobanu, min. 90+1), Gorea, Bâtea (Carp, min. 60), Goder.
SlovakiaEl-Dahaibiová, Haršányová, Havranová (Zdechovanova, min. 43), Biroová (c), Susolová (Surnosvka, min. 75), Fischerová, Fabová, Košíková (Hmirová, min. 46), Šušková (Kovalová, min. 75), Mikolajová (Bartovičová, min. 55), Matavková (Lisková, min. 63).
REFEREEMarta Huerta de Aza (ESP)
INCIDENTSInternational friendly between Romania and Slovakia held at the Pinatar Arena, Spain.

Goals from Florentina Olar and Cristina Carp either side of the break was enough for Mirel Albon’s team as they finish their Janurary training camp with one with from two.

36 - 43

Given the two sides' similar FIFA ranking the game started off nice and open, although the favourites Romania had the upper hand. The hosts saw the first real chance of the game when Adina Giurgiu powered a shot against the bar from twelve yards after some persistent work on the right.

Mária Mikolajová’s direct free kick gave Andreea Părăluță her first touch of the game, as she claimed the wrapped ball. Mikolajová’s second free-kick in as many minutes was played low and easily dealt with by the Romanian defence.

Tucked in between Luciá Haršányová and Monika Havranová, Mara Bâtea was able to latch onto a through ball but the Olimpia Cluj attacker got her feet in a mess and gave the centre backs time to recover. Lucia El-Dahaibiová’s goal was under more threat but Romania had nothing to show for their half-chances; the 'keeper yet to have made a save as the game neared the half hour and the Slovakian back line shored everything up.

Giurgiu’s header late in the half gave El-Dahaibiová something to do as she turned the dipped effort around for a corner – another of which, Tricolori opted to play shorter, although the set piece was of little harm. Alexandra Biroová’s slalom-like run shortly after deserved more than it got, as the captain carried the ball through midfield and evaded and rode tackles left and right, finally halted 30 yards from goal.

Pinatar Arena | Photo: VAVEL UK / Sophie Lawson
Pinatar Arena | Photo: VAVEL UK / Sophie Lawson

Olar unlocks the defence

Although the build-up from both sides was lacking both were determined, wanting to draw first blood but it was Romania who were afforded the perfect mix of time and space in the attacking third. Just as she had last time they played, Florentina Olar found the back of the net to give Romania the lead. Not closed down well at all the Fortuna Hjørring woman was given plenty of time to readjust her feet in the box and curl the ball around the Slovakian number one to leave the net rippling.

Slovakia weren’t without their chances as the half drew to a close, the team undone by a lack of clinical finish in the final third, when Biroová robbed Teodora Meluță to lay the ball off to Ludmila Matavková it looked to be a certain goal but the attacker failed to find her touch and was closed out. Another free kick from range at the end of the half had both sides scrambling in the box, but once more it was Romania who were the victorious side, defending their box before launching a counter.

Walking wounded

The second-half was a continuation of the first, Romania had the better chances, seemingly the more dangerous entity in and around the box but Slovakia still plugging away looking for their equaliser, just without the edge or composure required. Still the ball went back and forth and two semi-professional teams chased after it, both carrying knocks and bruises from a heated game, both having picked up bumps and bruises in their respective previous matches. Time and again the referee blew up for injuries, the constant interruptions doing nothing to help the flow of the game and neither side were particularly strong in possession.

Although not a top team in the world it was clear all the right ideas were there for Romania who more than once created beautiful free-flowing moves with one-touch passes but the move inevitably broke down as their lack of quality began to tell.

It wasn’t all one-sided however and Slovakia had their fair share of chances at set pieces, but likewise, a lack of real quality was telling. Diana Bartovičová’s low shot from a tight angle could have restored parity ten minutes from time had it not been for El-Dahaibiová’s outstretched glove. With the ball still spinning towards the goal-line, the keeper would have been happy to see an industrious Maria Ficzay back to clear the offending object before it could cross – the centreback one of the better players on the pitch from start to finish.

Late Drama

As Slovakia mounted a late push both Bartovičová and Martina Surnosvka saw shots fly wide but they began to leave bigger and bigger gaps at the pack as they flocked forward looking for an equaliser. Romania were able to capitalise on the thin defence three minutes from time as substitute Cristina Carp got on the end of a perfectly weighted ball, one-on-one with the keeper she made no mistake to slot past and double the advantage.

Down but not out Slovakia still pushed against the home defence and Părăluță pulled off fine save after save to deny the rampant attack deep into stoppage time, Patricia Hmirová’s set piece delivery never wavering as the Romanian back line struggled to deal with her deep delivery. But Părăluță’s late heroics saved her clean sheet and Slovakia were forced to make it two losses in two days.