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Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 22:47 UK

Piturca philosophical in defeat

Victor Piturca
Piturca accepted the Netherlands had deserved victory

Victor Piturca accepted his Romania side had lost to the better team after the 2-0 defeat by Holland saw Italy pip them to second place in Group C.

"It's a pity because we had a chance, we just couldn't take advantage of it," said Piturca, whose side could have reached the quarter-finals with a win.

"The fact of the matter is we lost to a better team.

"The pressure on our team was extreme. After Italy went ahead against France, it raised the pressure even further."

Romania needed to beat the Netherlands, or draw and hope the game between Italy and France also ended all square.

In the event, Romania never looked likely to test a much-changed Netherlands side, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals as Group C winners.

606: DEBATE

And Italy took the lead after 25 minutes through a penalty, as France went down to 10 men.

Piturca said his players could be proud of their efforts, but was left ruing Adrian Mutu's saved penalty against Italy which would have sent Romania through.

"We don't go home empty-handed. We avoided defeat in two games against fantastic teams in Italy and France," he said.

"Had we scored from the penalty we had against Italy we would have qualified."

Piturca also dismissed suggestions that his tactics against the Netherlands had been too cautious.

"I think we took enough risks," he said.

"There were moments when it was three against three at the back and against teams like Holland you just can't play this way. They can score at any time.

"If you let them score it is difficult to win - that is what France and Italy also realised."


Group C
17 June 2008 21:41
    P GD PTS
1 Netherlands 3 8 9
2 Italy 3 -1 4
3 Romania 3 -2 2
4 France 3 -5 1

see also
Netherlands 2-0 Romania
17 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Van Basten proud of Dutch efforts
17 Jun 08 |  Netherlands
Netherlands team guide
15 May 08 |  Netherlands
Romania team guide
15 May 08 |  Romania


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