Euro 2024: Romania and Slovakia meet in finely balanced Group E where a draw advances both

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Romania and Slovakia meet in the most finely balanced group at the European Championship. A draw on Wednesday would send both to the round of 16. The game on Wednesday kicks off in Frankfurt at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), at the same time as Belgium and Ukraine start in Stuttgart. Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts

— Any team in Group E can still finish in any position from first to last in the standings. It is the only group at Euro 2024 where each team won a game and lost a game in the first two rounds.

— One of Romania and Slovakia will be in the round of 16, and a draw will advance both. If so, Romania will be in the top two because of a superior goal difference to Slovakia. Slovakia would be third, and among the four best third-place teams advancing.

— “Biscotto” is the Italian word for biscuit that in soccer parlance means a game where two teams can contrive an outcome that suits them both. The most (in)famous example is West Germany’s 1-0 win over Austria at the 1982 World Cup where both teams effectively stopped playing after the 11th-minute goal. The “Disgrace of Gijon” game sent both through and eliminated Algeria. It ensured that at future tournaments the last round of games in a group is played at the same time.

Team news

— Slovakia defender David Hancko had been a doubt because of a hamstring injury against Ukraine, though coach Francesco Calzona could name the same starting lineup for the third time.

— Romania has no major injury concerns.

By the numbers

— Romania has lost 11 of its 18 games at Euros but never by more than 2-0. That record loss was matched in being beaten by Belgium on Saturday.

— The teams have not met in a competitive game for nearly 25 years, in a Euro 2000 qualifying group. A Romania team captained by Gheorghe Hagi won 5-1 in Slovakia.

— Slovakia forward Ivan Schranz is among the four players who have scored two goals at Euro 2024. The collective total of own goals was six through Monday.

What they’re saying

— “We must play to win. We will not be thinking that a draw could help us.” — Romania coach Edward Iordănescu.

— “We are the Cinderella story of the group stage.” — Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona.


AP Euro 2024:

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up