Romania – Greece

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

1990 World Cup Qualification
UEFA - Group 1
Wed. 2 November 1988
Kick-off: 2.30pm
Standionul Steaua, Bucharest
Att.: 15,000

Romania 3 - 0 Greece
1-0 (26) Dorin Mateuț
2-0 (40) Gheorghe Hagi (pen.)
3-0 (80) Ioan Sabău

Ref.: Mr Hubert Forstinger 
L 1: Heinz Holmann 
L 2: Hans Varadi
(All Austria)


*Under construction*

It had been a brilliant start for Romania to the qualifiers, winning 3-1 in Sofia. If they could continue with 2 points against Greece, they would firmly establish themselves in the driver's seat in this group. Greece had drawn at home against Denmark, and despite that not being a bad result, they could really need a point or even two in this tight group with only one automatic qualification berth for Italia'90. Romania had to be favourites, however, and they had a good record against Greece. The last encounter between the two teams found place 7th October 1987 in Bucharest, when Greece had gone 2-0 up before conceding twice, making it a 2-2 draw. A similar result today would be welcomed by the visitors.

Romania team news
Romania were unchanged from their meeting with Bulgaria both in the starting line-up and on the bench. In fact, Jenei would also introduce the same two substitutes as in the previous match. Continuity. And why would he change anything, as the team had performed ever so well in Sofia. The new players, Popescu, Sabău and Rotariu, had all played well.

Greece team news
A few changes in Papapostoulou's team, mainly in midfield, as they switched to a 4-4-2 formation. Tsaloukhidis took the role as defensive midfielder, pushing Skartados out of the team. Bonovas hadn't had a particularly good game against Denmark, but was given new chance being moved from left to right flank. New man in the wide left position was Nikos Tsiantakis, who made his debut for the national team.

Mr. Hubert Forstinger (Austria), a travel agent of profession, was appointed to officiate the match. He was a relatively inexperienced referee at this point of his career, having refereed one qualifier previously (Malta-Portugal in 1987) and one European cup match (TJ Vitkovice-AIK in 1987).

Romania (4-5-1)

1 Silvio Lung (c)32Steaua
2 Ştefan Iovan28Steaua
3 Ioan Andone28Dinamo
4 Iosif Rotariu26Steaua
5 Dorin Mateuț23Dinamo
6 Miodrag Belodedici24Steaua
7 Marius Lăcătușsub 78'24Steaua
8 Ioan Sabăusub 86'20 Dinamo
9 Rodion Cămătaru30Dinamo
10 Gheorghe Hagi23Steaua
11 Gheorghe Popescu21Universitatea Craiova

12 Gheorghe Nițu27Victoria București
13 Nicolae Ungureanu31Steaua
14 Mircea Rednic26Dinamo
15 Michael Kleinon 86'29Corvinul
17 Claudiu Vaișcovicion 78'25Dinamo
Manager: Emeric Jenei

Greece (4-4-2)

1 Ilias Talikriadis23Olympiakos
2 Iakovas Khatziathanasiou27Panathinaikos
3 Kostas Kolomitrousis24Larissa
4 Stelios Manolas27AEK
5 Kostas Mavridis26Panathinaikos
6 Giotis Tsaloukhidis25Olympiakos
7 Dimitris Saravakos27Panathinaikos
8 Andreas Bonovas24Iraklis
9 Nikos Anastopoulos (c)30Panionios
10 Tasos Mitropoulos, sub h-t31Olympiakos
11 Nikos Tsiantakissub 69'25Olympiakos

12 Lisandros Georgamlis26Panathinaikos
13 Giorgos Koutoulason h-t21AEK
14 Nikos Niopliason 69'23OFI
15 Giannis Gitsioudis26PAOK
16 Vasilis Dimitriadis22Aris
Manager: Miltos Papapostoulou

Tactical line-ups


Match report

The Greeks committed a lot of free-kicks in the first ten minutes of the game, disrupting Romania in finding any sense of rhythm. This could only work for a limited time. As the half proceeded, the Greeks were no longer able to halt the swift Romanian play with late tackles, and Hagi & co proved to be much the dominant side. The hosts played the ball swiftly, using a minimal number of touches to pass the ball to the next player. The Romanian dynamism started already from the back with Belodedici and Popescu, who initiated the Romanian attacks.

The Romanian formation was lopsided, with a strong right hand side consisting of Iovan, Sabău and Lăcătuș. After several good attacks down the right flank, it was no surprise that 1-0 would be created from that side. A cross from Lăcătuș was met by Mateuț, who throughout was dangerous from outside the penalty area, always expecting the ball. The goal had clear similarities with the first goal against Bulgaria, again built up at the rigtht side with Iovan. Soon afterwards, Cămătaru was fouled by a Greek defender inside the penalty area, with Hagi scoring on the penalty and erupting into a riverdance-like celebration. Romania was fully in control with the Greek not even looking like scoring.

The second period was less tidy, and also more intemperate. The spaces in the Greek half were only growing bigger as the match went on, but the Romanians appeared content. 3-0 did however come shortly before the end of the match, the great Sabău scoring. Both Sabău and Mateuț, the two wide midfielders in this side, had very good games, always finding space. Again a mention must go to the two defensive playmakers Belodedici and Popescu who would go forward with the ball and provide the Romanian midfielders with excellent passes.


1 Silviu Lung 6.6
2 Ştefan Iovan 7.2
3 Ioan Andone 6.9
4 Iosif Rotariu 6.9
5 Dorin Mateuț 7.6
6 Miodrag Belodedici 8.2
7 Marius Lăcătuș 7.0
8 Ioan Sabău 7.8
9 Rodion Cămătaru 7.1
10 Gheorghe Hagi 7.3
11 Gheorghe Popescu 7.9

1 Talikriadis (TBC)
2 Khatziathanasiou
3 Kolomitrousis
4 Manolas
5 Mavridis
6 Tsaloukhidis
7 Saravakos
8 Bonovas
9 Anastopoulos
10 Mitropoulos
11 Tsiantakis

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