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Marin kicks off with victory
Friday, 25 March 2005

By Paul-Daniel Zaharia at UNIREA stadium

Claudiu Keseru put Romania in front

New Romania coach Florin Marin enjoyed a successful start to his reign as goals from Claudiu Andrei Keseru and debutant Costin Curelea gave his team a 2-0 win in a hard-fought encounter against the Netherlands and kept them at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 1.

Suspensions ended
Marin welcomed back Lucian Goian and Ianis Zicu from suspensions which had been imposed by the Romanian Football Federation, while the Netherlands lost Romeo Castelen as he was called up to the senior international squad after an injury to Martijn Meerdink.

Double dismissal
Romania went ahead on 21 minutes, Keseru firing in from the penalty spot after Michael Jansen had handled in the area. Opposing captains Marius Nicolae Constantin and Robin van Persie then clashed in first-half added time and both were sent off.

Curelea clincher
Both teams enjoyed chances as the second half wore on but Romania scored the clinching goal after 81 minutes, Costin Curelea finding the net with a powerful shot in his first appearance for the U21 side.

Midweek games
The Dutch, previously unbeaten in the group, will aim to get back on track when they welcome bottom team Armenia on Tuesday, while the following afternoon Romania, still one point clear after the Czech Republic defeated Finland today, go to F.Y.R. Macedonia.