Denmark – Romania

*** Under construction, due to be completed autumn 2019 ***

1990 World Cup Qualification
UEFA - Group 1
Wed. 11 October 1989
Kick-off: -
Idrætsparken, Copenhagen
Att.: 45,400

Denmark 3 - 0 Romania
1-0 (4) Kent Nielsen
2-0 (27) Brian Laudrup
3-0 (84) Flemming Povlsen

Ref.: Mr Claude Bouillet 
L 1: Robert Wurtz 
L 2: Michel Girard 
(All France)



This was a regalvanized Denmark's first game without Morten Olsen, who had retired over the summer. Instead of John Helt returning to the team, John Jensen dropped down to take Olsen's place in front of the defence, with Helt placed on the bench. Piontek could call upon Jan Heintze again, moving Jan Bartram up to central midfield. Morten Olsen was now lost for good, but the team got a new veteran boost as experienced centerhalf Ivan Nielsen returned to the national team. Nielsen had gone injured most of the 88-89 season. Nielsen took John Larsen's place, who had deputized well in the central defence in the games during spring.

The noteable absentee for Romania was Marius Lăcătuș, who also had missed Greece away (the only match which the Romanias had failed to win so far in the qualification). Jenei changed his formation to a 4-5-1, with Rotariu taking place next to Popescu in central midfield and Klein starting as left back.

Denmark (3-5-2)

1 Peter Schmeichel25Brøndby
2 John Sivebæk27Saint-Étienne
3 Kent Nielsen27Aston Villa
4 Lars Olsen (c)28Brøndby
5 Ivan Nielsen33PSV Eindhoven
6 Jan Bartram27Bayer Uerdingen
7 John Jensen24Hamburg
8 Jan Heintze26PSV Eindhoven
9 Flemming Povlsen22PSV Eindhoven
10 Michael Laudrup25Barcelona
11 Brian Laudrup20Bayer Uerdingen

12 John Larsen27Vejle
13 John Helt29Lyngby
14 Kim Vilfort26Brøndby
15 Lars Elstrup26Luton
16 Troels Rasmussen28 AGF
Manager: Sepp Piontek

Romania (4-5-1)

1 Silvio Lung (c)33Steaua
2 Ştefan Iovan29Steaua
3 Michael Klein30Dinamo
4 Mircea Rednic27Dinamo
5 Dorin Mateuț24Dinamo
6 Ioan Andone29Dinamo
7 Iosif Rotariu27Steaua
8 Ioan Sabău21Dinamo
9 Rodion Cămătaru31Charleroi
10 Gheorghe Hagi24Steaua
11 Gheorghe Popescu21Universitatea Craiova

12 Bogdan Stelea21Dinamo
13 Emil Săndoi24Universitatea Craiova
14 Dan Petrescu 21Steaua
15 Zsolt Muzsnay24Steaua
16 Dănuț Lupu22Dinamo
Manager: Emeric Jenei

Tactical line-ups

Match report

Denmark never looked threatened after Kent Nielsen gave them the lead on a towering header from a free kick. The Danes continued attacking after that early lead, patiently building up play from behind with libero Lars Olsen and John Jensen (the latter looked far more uncertain on the ball when he received it higher up on the pitch). The two central defenders went wide while the two left backs Heintze and Sivebæk pushed up, almost playing as wingers at times. The slow build-up was efficient since the Romanians quickly got impatient and were lured into high pressing – with little structure in the pressure. Denmark had an easy job playing out of defence and into rooms in the Romanian half.

The Romanians on their part had a numerical surplus in central midfield with Popescu, Rotariu and Hagi. This surplus could have been exploited better, hadn't it been for a number of failed passes and disciplined Danish players (like the striker Povlsen). Even though they broke through the Danish midfield a few times, the Romanians never really threatened the solid Danish central defence. The Romanians had packed the midfield, but there was noone who took responsibility to go forward to support the lonely striker Cămătaru. Marius Lăcătuș was sourely missed. A number of deep crossers into the Danish central defence, with Cămătaru crowded by the Olsen and the two Nielsens, were also futile.

Denmark always looked closer to get 2-0, with Povlsen missing a few golden opportunities. Bartram was roaming on the left hand side of the field and and used his gifted left peg. 2-0 was inevitable and came from another dazzling run from Brian Laudrup.

In the second half, the Romanians saw more of the ball. In a way this stabilized the team, which at times looked shaky in the first 45 minutes. However, this possession did little to produce the chances they needed. They looked uncomfortable in 4-5-1, with no runs from midfield to threaten the Danish defence. Both Popescu and Hagi were given close attention by the Danish players, restricting their room. The right hand side which had proven so dangerous during the qualification so far, with Iovan and Sabău, looked nothing like itself. Cămătaru fought heroically as a lone striker, but a hopeless task for him alone. As mentioned, the Romanians clearly suffered from the absence of Lăcătuș: they were somewhat relieved when Dănuț Lupu entered the field midway through the second half. With Lupu, the team looked less "baktunge". The midfield apparatus had become too heavy, lacking someone to bring the ball into the dangerous zones. It appeared that the Romanians were spinning in midfield mud without Lăcătuș in the team, unable to progress into the final third of the opposition's half.


1 Peter Schmeichel 7.0
2 John Sivebæk 6.8
3 Kent Nielsen 7.2
4 Lars Olsen 7.6
5 Ivan Nielsen 6.7
(12 John Larsen 6.7)
6 Jan Bartram 7.1
7 John Jensen 7.6
8 Jan Heintze 6.9
9 Flemming Povlsen 7.5
10 Michael Laudrup 7.0
11 Brian Laudrup 8.4

1 Silviu Lung 6.1
2 Ştefan Iovan 5.9
3 Michael Klein 6.7
4 Mircea Rednic 6.2
5 Dorin Mateuț 6.7
6 Ioan Andone 6.6
7 Iosif Rotariu 6.6
8 Ioan Sabău 5.8
9 Rodion Cămătaru 6.9
10 Gheorghe Hagi 6.4
11 Gheorghe Popescu 7.0