Stanciu stunner leads Romania to dominant victory against Ukraine

Thirty years ago, when they could briefly claim to be one of the world’s best teams, Romania won millions of admirers with their eye for the spectacular. It returned to devastating effect in their return to major tournament football, a performance of eye-bulging intensity giving a fancied but ultimately tepid Ukraine side no answer.

Serhiy Rebrov’s players did not know what had hit them. They had been dominant to little effect until just before the half hour when Nicolae Stanciu, the Romania captain, transformed the picture with a long-range strike that may not be bettered all month. Razvan Marin, again from distance, and Denis Dragus settled the issue in rip-roaring start to the second period and Ukraine will surely need four points from somewhere if their remarkable story of resilience is to continue in Germany.

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