UEFA.com: Romania frustrate Portugal in play-off first leg

portugaliaCláudia Neto missed an early penalty as Portugal were forced to settle for a goalless draw against Romania in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 play-off first leg, according to UEFA.com.

The home side had the better of things throughout in Lisbon but could not translate their superiority into goals. They came closest after just nine minutes when Ana Leite was brought down in the area. Cláudia Neto, known as ‘CN7′, stepped up and sent Andrea Părăluţă the wrong way but her effort struck the upright and rolled across the goal line into the keeper’s arms.

It signalled a sign of things to come on a frustrating evening for the majority of the crowd of 3,415, a record for a women’s match in Portugal. Romania defended well, keeping the hosts at bay and ensuring that the sides’ third meeting ended the same way as their first two: all-square. There will definitely be a winner come Tuesday, though, when Cluj-Napoca hosts the second leg.

Background to the tie:

  • The sides were the only countries from outside the top two seeding tiers to earn a top-two finish in their groups (Romania were in Pot 3, ranked 22nd; Portugal were in Pot 4, ranked 26th)
  • Portugal have lost two previous play-offs, for the finals of 2001 (going down 3-0 in Italy before winning the home second leg 1-0) and 1997 (succumbing 12-1 on aggregate to Denmark).
  • Romania are within a play-off of a women’s final tournament for the first time.
  • Already qualified: Netherlands (hosts), Germany (holders), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

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