The women's national football team is close to a first! The Romanian women's football could participate for the first time in a final tournament.

The girls coached by Mirel Albon are two matches away from the participation in women's EURO 2017 hosted by the Netherlands next summer. The team has two more qualifier matches to play in Group 3 against the Ukraine and Greece. Both games will be played in Cluj, on “Doctor Constantin Rădulescu” stadium, on September 15 and September 20, respectively. To qualify, Romania has to defeat its direct opponent, the Ukrainian team, which is 3 points ahead, but with one more game played.

To qualify directly to the EURO, we need two wins in the two more games to go. We could make it with only 4 points, too, but the chances are dim. With a win and a tie, we would rather go into the playoff. The teams that qualify directly for EURO 2017 are the eight winners of the groups, the best 6 runners up and the winner of the playoff between the lowest ranking runners up (the 7th and the 8th). The Netherlands, as host team, is qualified by default.


"We have two more games to play, against the Ukraine, our main opponent, and Greece. We have to win both of them. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity. After the 2-2 tie in Lviv, I told to myself like a sort of conclusion: "We have a good chance to go to the EURO. It only depends on us."
Corina Olar, defender

"If we qualify, which I'm sure we'll do, the Romanian women's football will have a better chance to grow. The children, I mean, the girls, mainly, will have role models and will understand that everything is possible when you work hard and really want to achieve something.”
Ioana Bortan, midfielder

"We are close to making history and this detail is an extraordinary drive. It makes us want this qualification more than anything. We are two steps away from the final tournament. It all depends on us”
Florentina Olar, midfielder

Romania's squad for the matches against the Ukraine and Greece

Goalkeepers
Andreea Părăluţă - Atletico Madrid (Spain)
Roxana Oprea - Olimpia Cluj
Lavinia Boandă - Olimpia Cluj

Defenders
Andreea Corduneanu - Olimpia Cluj
Corina Olar – Olimpia Cluj
Maria Ficzay - Medyc Konin (Poland)
Lidia Havriştiuc - Olimpia Cluj
Ana Maria Gorea - ASA Târgu Mureş
Olivia Oprea – UD Levante (Spain)
Brigitta Goder - Gyor (Hungary)

Midfielders
Ioana Bortan - Olimpia Cluj
Adina Giurgiu – Olimpia Cluj
Raluca Sârghe - Konak Beledyespor (Turkey)
Ștefania Vătafu - Olimpia Cluj
Andreea Voicu - Olimpia Cluj
Florentina Olar - Fortuna Hjorring (Denmark)
Beatrice Tărăşilă - Olimpia Cluj
Cristina Carp - Olimpia Cluj

Forwards
Laura Rus - forward - Icheon Daekyo WFC (South Korea)
Alexandra Lunca - Olimpia Cluj
Mara Bâtea - Olimpia Cluj
Cosmina Duşa - Konak Beleydespor (Turkey)
Isabelle Mihail - Olimpia Cluj

Ștefania Vătafu cannot play against the Ukraine, as she is suspended for two yellow cards.

The road to EURO 2017
The women's national football team only lost the two matches against France, which is on the third place in the world ranking, exceeded only by USA (the world champion) and Germany.

Before starting the qualification campaign that could get them for the first time to the EURO final tournament, the Romanian team played two test matches: The first – in Buftea: a 5-0 win against Moldova, a game in which all goals were scored in the first half. The second – in Mogoșoaia: a 0-2 loss to Denmark, a game in which the Danish team only scored in the last 20 minutes.

A tie in the Ukraine

The first qualifier for EURO 2017 was an away game against the top-seeded team of the group. The outcome was no surprise: France – Romania 3-0, a score set as early as in the 48th minute. However, a good game followed: 2-2 in the away match against the Ukraine (Photo 1), the team we were supposed to fight with for the second position. Romania opened and closed the scoreboard in a game that showed that our team's chances to qualify for the final tournament were not just theoretical.

Points and preparation

The first win in the qualifying campaign for EURO 2017 in the Netherlands came in the first home match: In Mogosoaia, the team coached by Mirel Albon scored an easy 3-0 win over Albania. The Romanians also won 3-1 the away game against Greece and got three more points. The second-round game against France was preceded by several friendly games. First, Romania had a training stage in Spain (Photo 2), playing three matches: 2-1 to Fundacion Albacete Nexus Energia (a team in the Spanish First League), 0-6 to Norway (runner-up in the previous EURO) and 8-0 to Lorca Deportiva Feminas (a team in the Second League of Spain). A thing worth noting: Romania's assistant coach Irina Codrea took the field in the 81st minute.

No loss to the Spanish teams

For the next training stage, in Romania, the coach called players from teams in the national championship. In Buftea, Romania played a match against the Under 15 team (generation 2001) of Rapid Bucharest, winning 4-2. Also in Ilfov, but in Mogosoaia this time, Romania's squad played a test match against Spain (one of the eight European teams at the 2105 World Cup in Canada): The 0-0 final score was a good one for the morale of Mirel Albon's team. Thus, the Romanians remained undefeated in this season in the games played against Spanish teams.

3-0 with a hat trick

The match against France, in Pitesti, followed. The Romanians failed to score, again, but the score gap was smaller than in the game played in Le Mans: 0-1, with a goal scored from a penalty kick. The defeat on "Nicolae Dobrin" Stadium thwarted Romania's chances to win the group, but the first position had been almost inaccessible, anyway, from the time of the draw. The end of the season brought a new victory to the team coached by Mirel Albon: 3-0 in the away game to Albania. All goals were scored by Ștefania Vătafu (Photo 3).


EURO 2017
• The final tournament of women's EURO 2017 will be hosted by the Netherlands, from July 16 to August 6, 2017, bringing together the best 16 teams of Europe.
• The next year's edition will be the 12th. The first women's EURO was in 1984 and was won by Sweden. Only three national teams have won the EURO so far: Sweden(1984), Norway (1987, 1993) and Germany (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013).
• The matches of the four groups of EURO 2017, as well as the knockout games and the final, will be played in seven cities: Breda, Enschede, Tilburg, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Deventer and Doetinchem.
• The largest stadium that will host EURO 2017 matches is "De Grolsch Veste" in Enschede, the home of famous Dutch team Twente. The final will also be played here, on August 6.


Group 3
1. France 7m 7 0 0 21-0 21p
2. Ukraine 7m 4 1 2 13-10 13p
3. ROMANIA 6m 3 1 2 11-7 10p
4. Greece 7m 2 0 5 9-15 6p
5. Albania 7m 0 0 7 3-25 0p
* France has already qualified for the final tournament


Matches played so far
22.09.2015 France – ROMANIA 3-0
22.10.2015 Albania – Greece 1-4, Ukraine – ROMANIA 2-2
27.10.2015 ROMANIA – Albania 3-0, Ukraine – France 0-3
27.11.2015 Greece – ROMANIA 1-3, Albania – France 0-6
01.12.2015 Greece – France 0-3
26.01.2016 Greece – Albania 3-2
04.03.2016 Albania – Ukraine 0-4
08.03.2016 Greece – Ukraine 1-3
08.04.2016 Ukraine – Albania 2-0, ROMANIA – France 0-1
11.04.2016 France – Ukraine 4-0
02.06.2016 Albania – Romania 0-3
03.06.2016 France – Greece 1-0
07.06.2016 Ukraine – Greece 2-0

Matches to play
15 September: ROMANIA - Ukraine
20 September: France - Albania, ROMANIA - Greece


Ranking of runners-up
The winners of the eight qualifier groups and seven runners-up (six directly and one after a playoff) qualify automatically for the final tournament. The points won in the matches against the lowest-ranking team in the group are not considered in the ranking of runners-up. The national team of the Netherlands, the host country, qualifies by default.

1. Scotland 12 points
2. Denmark 10 points
3. Austria 10 points
4. Belgium 8 points
5. Finland 7 points
6. Russia 7 points
7. Ukraine 7 points
8. Italy 6 points

- Romania's national women's team currently has 4 points (minus the 6 points from the two matches against Albania, the team in the last position in the group). With 6 points won in the last two games, Mirel Albon's team would total 10 points, which would allow them to avoid the playoff opposing the two lowest-ranking runners-up. 

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