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(E) Croatia beats Romania 1-0 in friendly match
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/23/2002 | Sports | Unrated
(E) Croatia beats Romania 1-0 in friendly match

 

Croatia beats Romania 1-0 in friendly match 

Associated Press
Nov. 20, 2002 9:54 a.m. 
TIMISOARA, Romania (AP)— Tomislav Maric scored the only goal of the match as Croatia beat Romania 1-0 in a friendly Wednesday in the western city of Timisoara. 

Romania dominated the game and pushed to pry open a crowded Croatian defense with attacks on the flanks. But Romanian strikers failed to create scoring chances in the Croatian box. 

The hosts' most dangerous efforts came from powerful long distance shots by Ionel Ganea, Adrian Ilie and Dorinel Munteanu but Croatia's goalkeeper, Stipe Pletikosa, was in top form and denied their efforts. 

Ganea, who plays for Stuttgart in Germany, came close to scoring in the 18th minute, but failed to lift the ball over the Croatian 'keeper. 

Cosmin Contra also threatened in the 36th minute, dribbling past three Croatian defenders but then kicked weakly from 12 meters (yards) for an easy save by Pletikosa. 

Croatia, which responded with dangerous counterattacks, scored in the 46th minute, when an unmarked Tomislav Maric headed home from eight meters (yards) after a free kick from the right. 

Romania pressed hard for an equalizer, but it was unable to unlock the tight Croatian defense. Instead, Mario Maric could have made it 2-0 in the 84th minute on a rapid counterattack when his header from seven meters (yards) went just over the bar. 

Romanian coach Anghel Iordanescu made a flurry of changes in the second half, as he tested new talent for European qualifiers next spring. 

Otto Baric won his first match as coach of the Croatian team. 

----- 

Lineups: 

Romania: Bogdan Vintila (Bogdan Stelea, 46) - Cosmin Contra (Flavius Stoican, 74), Gheorghe Popescu (Florin Soava, 74), Mirel Radoi (Adrian Iencsi, 47), Cristian Chivu, - Tiberiu Ghioane (Marius Niculae, 46), Florin Cernat (Constantin Schumacher, 46), Dorinel Munteanu, Razvan Rat - Adrian Ilie (Lucian Sanmartean, 59), Ionel Ganea (Daniel Pancu, 21). 

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa - Vlatko Djolonga (Miljenko Mumlek, 84), Mario Tokic, Boris Zivkovic, Stjepan Tomas, Dario Srna, Giovanni Rosso (Jasmin Agic, 76), Jerko Leko, Mario Babic, Bosko Balaban (Tomislav Maric, 46), Ivica Olic (Mario Maric, 30) 

Attendance: 35,000.

http://foxsports.lycos.com/content/view?contentId=764006 

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